Skip to main content
Screen-based media use clusters are related to other activity behaviours and health indicators in adolescents
BMC Public Health (2013)
  • Leon Straker, Curtin University
  • Anne Julia Smith, Curtin University
  • Beth Hands, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Tim Olds, University of South Australia
  • Rebecca Abbott, Curtin University
Background: Screen-based media (SBM) occupy a considerable portion of young peoples’ discretionary leisure
time. The aim of this paper was to investigate whether distinct clusters of SBM use exist, and if so, to examine the
relationship of any identified clusters with other activity/sedentary behaviours and physical and mental health
Methods: The data for this study come from 643 adolescents, aged 14 years, who were participating in the
longitudinal Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study through May 2003 to June 2006. Time spent on
SBM, phone use and reading was assessed using the Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults. Height,
weight, muscle strength were measured at a clinic visit and the adolescents also completed questionnaires on
their physical activity and psychosocial health. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to analyse groupings of SBM
Results: Three clusters of SBM use were found; C1 ‘instrumental computer users’ (high email use, general computer
use), C2 ‘multi-modal e-gamers’ (both high console and computer game use) and C3 ‘computer e-gamers’ (high
computer game use only). Television viewing was moderately high amongst all the clusters. C2 males took fewer
steps than their male peers in C1 and C3 (−13,787/week, 95% CI: -4619 to −22957, p = 0.003 and −14,806, 95% CI: -5,306
to −24,305, p = 0.002) and recorded less MVPA than the C1 males (−3.5 h, 95% CI: -1.0 to −5.9, p = 0.005). There was no
difference in activity levels between females in clusters C1 and C3.
Conclusion: SBM use by adolescents did cluster and these clusters related differently to activity/sedentary behaviours
and both physical and psychosocial health indicators. It is clear that SBM use is not a single construct and future
research needs to take consideration of this if it intends to understand the impact SBM has on health.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Straker, L., Smith, A., Hands, B., Olds, T., and Abbott, R. (2013). Screen-based media use clusters are related to other activity behaviours and health indicators in adolescents. BMC Public Health, 13. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-1174