The association between screen time and mental health during COVID-19: A cross sectional study

Smith, Lee
Meyer, Jacob
Jacob, Louis
Trott, Mike
Yakkundi, Anita
Butler, Laurie
Barnett, Yvonne
Armstrong, Nicola
McDermott, Daragh
Schuch, Felipe
Meyer, Jacob
López-Bueno, Rubén
López Sánchez, Guillermo
Bradley, Declan
Tully, Mark
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Dear editor,

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020. To prevent transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on 23rd March 2020 the UK government issued guidance that all citizens should stay at home, and only leave their house for essential medical care, shopping for food and medicine and for one period of exercise (National Health Service, 2020). The impact of following the guidance on health-related behaviours is largely unknown. With people spending large periods of time indoors, screen time (e.g. watching TV, using computers, tablets etc) is likely to increase. Excessive screen time use has been shown to be associated with a range of negative mental health outcomes (Allen et al., 2019; Huang et al., 2020; Teychenne et al., 2015).

Therefore, we aimed to investigate levels and correlates of screen time during COVID-19 self-isolation in a sample of the UK public, and its association with mental health.

<p>This article is published as Lee Smith, Louis Jacob, Mike Trott, Anita Yakkundi, Laurie Butler, Yvonne Barnett, Nicola C Armstrong, Daragh McDermott, Felipe Schuch, Jacob Meyer, Rubén López-Bueno, Guillermo F. López Sánchez, Declan Bradley, Mark A Tully, The association between screen time and mental health during COVID-19: A cross sectional study, Psychiatry Research, 2020, Volume 292; 113333. Doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113333. </p>