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J Korean Child Neurol Soc. 2018 Sep;26(3):135-145. English. Original Article.
Cho SY , So HJ , Lim SM , Koh MS , Song KY , Moon JH .
Department of Pediatrics, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Child Neurodevelopmental Lab, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea.


To investigate the relationship between the smart devices usage-related factors and self-regulation ability development in early childhood.


Parental questionnaires of 187 children aged 3–6 years were analyzed. The metrics included smart device usage frequency (times/week, scored as uFreq), smart device usage time (hours/day, scored as uTime), parental scale for appropriate smart device usage level (scored as uLevel), the Korean-developmental screening test (K-DST), and the scale for self-regulation ability in young children (scored as SRS, and including four sub-categories: self-appraisal, self-determination, behavior inhibition, and emotionality). The correlations were analyzed by total age group and by each age.


In the total age group analysis, uFreq and uTime were negatively correlated with mean SRS (r(s)=−0.366, −0.330; P < 0.001) and sub-category SRS (r(s)=−0.186 to −0.370; P < 0.05). Mean uLevel score was positively correlated with mean SRS (r(s)=0.406; P < 0.001) and most of the mean sub-category SRS (r(s)=0.174 to 0.362; P < 0.05). In 3-year-old children, the mean SRS was strongly negatively correlated with uFreq (r(s)=−0.751; P < 0.001), negatively correlated with uTime (r(s)=−0.518; P < 0.001), and positively correlated with mean uLevel score (r(s)=0.533; P=0.013). Such correlations seemed to decrease at the age of 4–6 years.


Self-regulation ability was significantly correlated with smart device-related factors and was the highest in the 3-year-old children. Encouraging appropriate smart device usage will be helpful for self-regulation development of young children.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.