This spotlight report focuses on screen time as reported by children and young people aged 8-18 in Northern Ireland. It draws on key insights from a large scale mixed methods research project called Growing Up Online: Children’s online activities, harm and safety in Northern Ireland, funded by the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) and conducted by a team from the Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement (CREU) at Stranmillis University College, Belfast.
The report findings highlight the amount of time children and young people in Northern Ireland are spending online, during the day, at the weekends and at night-time.
Among the key findings from the 6500 survey responses and interviews with almost 100 children and young people are that:
- The most commonly reported amount of time spent online on an ordinary school day was about 1-2 hours (17.77%) for children aged 8 -13 years old.
- For 14–18 year olds, the most commonly reported amount of time spent on an ordinary school day was about 2-3 hours (18.53%), followed by 3-4 hours (18.49%). This suggests children spend more time online as they get older.
- Children and young people tend to spend considerably more time online at the weekend and during the school holidays than they do during school days.
- Around half of 14-18 year olds and over a third of 8-13 year olds who completed the survey felt that they spent too much time online.
- Over half of 8-13 year olds and 14-18 year olds reported that their parents and guardians thought they spent too much time online.
- Among the younger cohort (8-13 year olds), 19% reported that they were often tired the next day as a result of being online late at night. Among the older cohort (14-18) this had risen to 27%.
Growing Up Online
Spotlight Report on the Screen Time Debate
© SBNI 2024