Parents Say Too Much Screen Time, Social Media Are Biggest Concerns

Top-related concerns vary by parents’ income.

HealthDay News Overuse of devices, screen time, and social media are the top health concerns of two-thirds of US parents, according to results of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health released on Aug. 21.

The survey was administered in February 2023 and includes results from 2,099 parents of at least 1 child aged 0 to 18 years living in their household.

Researchers listed other top-rated parent concerns, including social media (66%), internet safety (62%), depression/suicide (57%), bullying (53%), stress/anxiety (52%), unhealthy diet (52%), health care/health insurance costs (50%), school violence (49%), smoking/vaping (48%), obesity (48%), guns/gun injuries (47%), and lack of mental health services (47%). Top concerns varied by parent socioeconomic status, with overuse of devices and social media being viewed as larger problems by a higher proportion of parents in middle-income ($50,000-$99,999) and high-income (≥$100,000) households.

“Differences in how parents view children’s health problems may reflect their day-to-day experiences dealing with environmental challenges such as unsafe neighborhoods, as well as discrimination that may be more frequently experienced by children from low-income homes,” said Susan Woolford, M.D, codirector of the Mott Poll.