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Parenting to Reduce Child Screen Time

A Feasibility Pilot Study

Sanders, Wesley MA*,†; Parent, Justin BS*,‡; Forehand, Rex PhD*

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: January 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 46–54
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000501
Original Articles

Objective: Excessive screen time has been associated with a multitude of child health problems. This pilot study examined the feasibility and preliminary outcome of a novel 1-session intervention designed to help parents reduce their child's screen time.

Methods: Thirty-nine parents of 5- to 12-year-old children were randomized to the intervention (a combined didactics and hands-on approach focused on technology-specific parenting) or waitlist control group.

Results: The findings suggested that a sample could be recruited in a reasonable time (6 wk) at a reasonable cost, randomized, and retained at 6 weeks postintervention. Preliminary evidence suggested the intervention, which was implemented with fidelity, was associated with change in technology-specific parenting and 1 of 2 measures of child screen time. Parents reported satisfaction with the intervention and confidence in managing their child's screen time.

Conclusion: The results of this pilot study suggest that this 1-session intervention is a promising approach to managing child screen time.

*University of Vermont, Burlington, VT;

Boston VA Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain, MA;

Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

Address for reprints: Wesley Sanders, MA, Boston VA Healthcare System, 150 S. Huntington St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; e-mail:

Supported by a grant from the Child and Adolescent Psychology Training and Research, Inc. to the W. Sanders. J. Parent was supported by NICHD F31 1HD082858, and R. Forehand by NIMH R01MH100377.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received January , 2017

Accepted July , 2017

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