Behavioral correlation with television watching and videogame playing among children in the United Arab Emirates

Said Yousef, Valsamma Eapen, Taoufik Zoubeidi, Abdelazim Mabrouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Television viewing and videogame use (TV/VG) appear to be associated with some childhood behavioral problems. There are no studies addressing this problem in the United Arab Emirates. Methods. One hundred ninety-seven school children (mean age, 8.7 ± 2.1 years) were assessed. Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) subscale scores and socio-demographic characteristics were compared between children who were involved with TV/VG more than 2 hours/day and those involved less than 2 hours/day (the recommended upper limit by The American Academy of Pediatrics). Results. Thirty-seven percent of children who were involved with TV/VG time of more than 2 hours/day scored significantly higher on CBCL syndrome scales of withdrawn, social problems, attention problems, delinquent behavior, aggressive behavior, internalizing problems, externalizing problems and the CBCL total scores compared with their counterparts. Moreover, these children were younger in birth order and had fewer siblings. After controlling for these confounders using logistic regression, we found that TV/VG time more than 2 hours/day was positively associated with withdrawn (p = 0.008), attention problem (p = 0.037), externalizing problems (p = 0.007), and CBCL total (p = 0.014). Conclusion. Involvement with TV/VG for more than 2 hours/day is associated with more childhood behavioral problems. Counteracting negative effects of the over-involvement with TV/VG in children requires increased parental awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Behavior
  • Children
  • Television
  • UAE
  • Videogames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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