Smart Devices and Family Roles: A Study of Smart Device Use Among Children Aged 2-5 in Thailand’s Health Region 3

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Supaporn Kumruangrit
Raweewan Tansuwat
Sasithorn Marat
Laddawan Phothiwichit
Nisakon Phichitsiri


This research investigated smart device use among young Thai children. The study likewise explored the relationship between smart device screen time, family roles in smart device use, and effects of smart device use. In 2020, primary data were collected through questionnaires from 1,100 primary parents of 2-5-year-old children in five provinces in Health Region 3. A Mann-Whitney U Test and Median Test were used in data analyses of the associations. The results revealed that 2-5-year-old children had an average screen time per day of 1 hour and 33 minutes, with 54.3% spending more than 1 hour on smart devices daily. In addition, 21.5% reported owning a smartphone, of which 55.2% accessed YouTube to watch cartoons and movies. In terms of screen time, 21.7% of the children reported unrestricted use. In terms of effects from smart device use, children being easily irritated and moody was noted by most parents (61.5%). In addition, variables under family roles and effects of smart device use showed a statistically significant correlation with smart device screen time. However, median screen time varied by each variable under family roles and effects of smart device use. The findings are essential for future policy planning, which will enable families with young children to become aware of appropriate smartphone or tablet usage by their children.


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Supaporn Kumruangrit, Mahidol University, Nakhonsawan Campus, Thailand

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