MOBILE DEVICES USAGE BY PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN IN SELANGOR
Background: Mobile devices have become a necessity in the daily lives and a preferred choice among everyone, including children. These devices can be used to perform internet-based transactions. This study aimed to describe the usage and determine the predictors of high usage of mobile devices among pre-schoolers.
Materials and Methods: This study applied a cross-sectional study design and multistage random sampling. This study was conducted on parents or guardians of selected public pre-school children (KEMAS) using self-verified content questionnaires. The questionnaires consisted of questions on parental and child socio-demographic information, family background, child mobile device usage, and child emotional behaviour.
Result: The study obtained a response rate of 71.9% (463 parents or guardians). About 71.0% of the pre-school children used mobile devices, and the majority used smartphones (71.6%). In total, 24.0% of the pre-schoolers used mobile devices regularly (average 60 minutes and more per day). Mobile devices usage was higher among pre-schoolers whose parents spent less than 60 minutes a day with their children (AOR 4.00, 95% CI: 2.21, 7.02) and parents with low levels of education (AOR 2.90, 95% CI: 1.46, 5.74). Having a more educated parent (AOR 0.37, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.73) reduced the usage of mobile devices among the pre-school children in the study.
Conclusion: Parental and family factors are the leading factors affecting the high usage of mobile devices among pre-school children. Therefore, there is a need to increase the awareness of parents and families on this matter.
Keywords: mobile devices, pre-school, regular users, children, mobile device usage