Screen media, parenting practices, and the family environment in Australia: A longitudinal study of young children’s media use, lifestyles, and outcomes for healthy weight

Leonie Rutherford, Judith E. Brown, Helen Skouteris, Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Michael Bittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies of media use and adiposity explore the influence of parenting on children’s lifestyle behaviors. Screen media access, bedroom television, lack of physical activity, and snacking on energy-dense foods have long been implicated in child overweight. This research used data from the first three waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to investigate, prospectively, the associations between parental practices in early to middle childhood and children’s behaviors and weight in late childhood. A path model was used to investigate whether consistent parenting predicted setting of boundaries for access to and use of media, and was indirectly associated with children’s lifestyle behaviors that increase the likelihood of healthy weight maintenance. The findings demonstrated that children’s lifestyles pertinent to weight maintenance and media use cluster together and involve both old and newer screen media, but are also predicted by parenting practices and the family environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • Obesity
  • Parenting practices
  • Screen media
  • Television

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