The Home Screen Media Environment of Saudi Toddlers

Haifa Alroqi, Ludovica Serratrice, Thea Cameron-Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The past few years have witnessed a rapid increase in children’s use of screen media. Despite the widespread use of technology in Saudi Arabia, research on screen media use among young children is scarce. The current study provides a comprehensive picture of screen media use and literacy practices among 220 1- to 3-year-olds in Saudi Arabia using an online survey. Findings showed that the vast majority of these children had started using screens before the age of 2 years. Saudi toddlers’ overall screen time was about 3 hours a day which exceeds screen time recommendations by the World Health Organization. Iftah Ya Simsim (the Arabic version of Sesame Street) was children’s favourite TV show, YouTube was their favourite mobile media app, and children’s songs were their most frequently viewed content type on mobile media. The amount of time toddlers spent with screens was higher than their engagement with reading. More than 40% of the children were never read to, and one quarter had no children’s books at home. Results of this study provide a better understanding of children’s screen use and reading practices; an important first step in guiding the development of research-driven recommendations for all stakeholders on the use of screens by young children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Apr 2021


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