KESS 2 funded researcher Donna Dixon discusses the effects of increased screen time for children on BBC Radio Cymru

Parent and child using their phones


On 28th June 2022, KESS 2 funded researcher Donna Dixon from Bangor University shared her insights on the increased device usage of children during lockdown in a discussion with Robin Williams and Jennifer Jones on BBC Radio Cymru.

Donna’s research project, titled “Behavioural and health impacts of raising children in a digital household” aims to understand the impact of parental digital technology use on young people by investigating the relationship between parents’ use of digital technology and children’s use of technology, deviant behaviours and mental health within the Welsh context. The project, which is a cross-sectional study including a sample of 650 young people aged between 12 and 15, is in collaboration with Public Health Wales and Bangor University.

Donna says,

“There is a growing concern on the encroaching nature technology use is having on family environments. Emerging evidence suggests that parental use of technology, in which they use devices during interactions with their child can lead to a negative impact on the parent child relationship which can subsequently lead to poorer adolescent mental health such as depression and anxiety or increased deviant behaviours such as aggression and cyberbullying. Research also suggests that parents may be directly modelling inappropriate technological habits which are replicated by adolescents, leading to the development of addictive digital device behaviours. “

She adds,

“Given the ubiquity of digital devices within daily life, to advise families to cease use completely would be unrealistic, however, parents should be aware of their environment during electronic device use and how this use can directly and indirectly impact young people’s health and behaviours.

“Technology is evolving so rapidly, we may not know the true impact on children and adolescents for many years to come. Therefore, continuous data collection is necessary to counteract the potential negative effects that may be highlighted in the future’.

The Jennifer Jones “Dros Ginio” radio show can be listened to again on BBC Sounds at: (topic begins at 38:57).