International iPreschooler Surveillance Study Among Asians (IISSAA) (IISSAA)

Main funder

Funder's project number: OKM/15/626/2019

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 150 000,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/08/2019

Project end date: 31/07/2022


Some research show that young people in developed Asian economies have very high digital media use in the world because of the ubiquity of mobile technologies. International organizations like UNESCO, advocate maximizing children’s digital opportunities in an attempt to ameliorate the digital divide without caution and concern for the inimical consequences- entrenchment of sedentary behaviours, screen addiction, increased obesity and metabolic conditions, poor sleep and eyesight- of excessive daily indulgence in digital media. Some health ailments have their genesis in childhood and it is crucial to curb its entrenchment before it spirals out of control. Digital devices such as smartphones and tablets originally targeted at adults are now increasingly in the small hands of preschool children, with or without parental supervision. Limited descriptive studies in the last five years in some Asian countries show that young children experience significant amounts of screen time from television, computers and other forms of mobile digital devices, even before primary school. Yet the research into effects of such digital media exposure on the health and development of preschool children in the context of developed economies in Asia cannot match the increased use of such parent-owned technologies. Some scholars suggest that young children interacting with digital media can help with learning and literacy. Other scholars opine that an early adoption of these digital media socialize young people to sedentary lifestyles, leading to obesity, an earlier onset of type II diabetes, technology addiction, displacement of other meaningful activities such as real-time parent-child interaction, physical play and physical activity, impaired self-regulation, and delayed expressive speech, among other insidious outcomes. As research lags significantly behind the ubiquity of digital media use among preschool children, more research is needed before the issue is in a sharper focus. The purpose of the research is to examine the comparative impact of digital media use by preschool children and its association with digital and non-digital behaviours, play, sleep and eyesight outside of school on weekdays and weekend days across selected urban cities in Asia. A representative sample of about 1000 parents per country of young children enrolled in preschool and kindergarten in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, India, South Korea, and Japan is the focus of the research. Two European urban cities in Italy and Finland may also add to the comparative data set.
An online I-preschooler is a term coined by Chia, Tay & Chua (2018) to mean preschool children aged 2-6 years old who use digital media. SMALLQ™- Trademark 2018, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, SINGAPORE questionnaire bundle, SMALLQ™ (i.e. SMALLQ™ stands for Surveillance of digital-Media hAbits in early childhood Questionnaire) organized into sections (I) Digital-media use; (II) Non-digital behaviour, play, sleep and eyesight; and (III) Particulars of parents and child is the tool for data acquisition. Another purpose of the research is to follow-up with the parents of the participants over 24 months, over summer, from baseline measurement to track changes in outcomes in child digital media use longitudinally in the same group of preschool children and cross-sectionally, in different cohorts of preschool children, aged 2-6 years over 3 years (e.g. 2019, 2020 & 2021). Findings allow for comparisons across Asian countries and beyond (e.g. Finland and Italy), help inform the formulation or refinement of guidelines for digital media use among the preschool children and seed further research in the area.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

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Last updated on 2021-12-04 at 11:54