Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 2084–2099 | Cite as

Children’s Media Use and Self-Regulation Behavior: Longitudinal Associations in a Nationwide Japanese Study

  • Sachiko Inoue
  • Takashi Yorifuji
  • Tsuguhiko Kato
  • Satoshi Sanada
  • Hiroyuki Doi
  • Ichiro Kawachi


Objective The effect of media use on child behavior has long been a concern. Although studies have shown robust cross-sectional relations between TV viewing and child behavior, longitudinal studies remain scarce. Methods We analyzed the Longitudinal Survey of Babies, conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare since 2001. Among 53,575 families, 47,010 responded to the baseline survey; they were followed up every year for 8 years. Complete data were available for longitudinal analysis among 32,439 participants. Daily media use (TV viewing and video game-playing hours at ages 3, 4, and 5 years) was used as the main exposure. We employed an index of the children’s self-regulatory behavior as the outcome variable. Odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. Results Among boys, longer TV-viewing times at ages 4 and 5 were related to problematic self-regulatory behavior. Compared with boys who watched just 1–2 h of TV a day, those who watched it 4–5 h had a 1.79-fold greater risk (CI 1.22–2.64) of problematic self-regulatory behavior, according to parental report. Among girls, similar results were evident at ages 4 and 5 (e.g., adjusted odds ratios for 4–5 h daily viewing versus 1–2 h at age 4: 2.59; 95 % CI 1.59–4.22). Video games may have a protective effect on the risk of problematic self-regulatory behavior at ages 3 and 5. Conclusion Longer daily exposure to TV during early childhood (age 4–5) may be associated with subsequent problematic child self-regulatory behavior.


Media Television Game Self-regulation Hyperactivity 



This work was supported in part by Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants on Health Research on Children, Youth and Families as well as Grants for Environmental Research Projects from the Sumitomo Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachiko Inoue
    • 1
  • Takashi Yorifuji
    • 2
  • Tsuguhiko Kato
    • 3
  • Satoshi Sanada
    • 4
  • Hiroyuki Doi
    • 5
  • Ichiro Kawachi
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Nursing ScienceOkayama Prefectural UniversitySojaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Human Ecology, Graduate School of Environmental and Life ScienceOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Social MedicineNational Center for Child Health and DevelopmentTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of EducationFukuyama City UniversityFukuyamaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical SciencesOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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