Protective factors in the use of electronic media according to youth and their parents: an exploratory study

Luísa Campos*, Lurdes Veríssimo, Bárbara Nobre, Catarina Morais, Pedro Dias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The use of electronic media (EM) by youths has been widely described in the literature, indicating the relevance of understanding the factors that can protect against its risks. We aimed to explore the protective role of participating in extracurricular activities (ECAs) and of parental mediation in the use of EM by young people. A total of 1413 people (729 students, aged between 11 and 17 years old, and one of their parents) participated in this study. Youths who engaged in ECAs spent significantly less time per week on EM and perceived that the use of EM devices had less of a negative impact. When parents and their children presented a congruent notion of how much time youth spent on EM, parents perceived EM to have less of a negative impact on their children compared to dyads with discrepant assessments. The hierarchical regression results indicated that regardless of time spent per week on EM, engaging in ECAs was a significant predictor of perceiving a less negative impact, playing a role as a protective factor regarding the use of EM. The ubiquity of EM reinforces the importance of the focus of this study, and its results contribute to creating specific guidelines for parental education and educational policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3573
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Electronic media
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Parental mediation
  • Protective factors
  • Youth


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