Screen-based sedentary behaviors and internalizing symptoms across time among U.S. Hispanic adolescents

Tatiana Perrino, Ahnalee Brincks, Tae Kyoung Lee, Kiarabet Quintana, Guillermo Prado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The pervasive use of technology has raised concerns about its association with adolescent mental health, including internalizing symptoms. Existing studies have not always had consistent findings. Longitudinal research with diverse subgroups is needed. Methods: This study examines the relationship between screen-based sedentary (SBS) behaviors and internalizing symptoms among 370 Hispanic adolescents living in Miami, Florida- United States, who were followed for 2 ½ years and assessed at baseline, 6, 18 and 30 months post-baseline between the years 2010 and 2014. Approximately 48% were girls, and 44% were foreign-born, most of these youth being from Cuba. Mean age at baseline was 13.4 years, while at the last time-point it was 15.9 years. Results: Findings show that girls had higher internalizing symptoms and different patterns of screen use compared to boys, including higher phone, email, and text use. SBS behaviors and internalizing symptoms cooccurred at each time-point, and their trajectories were significantly related (r = 0.45, p < .001). Cross-lagged panel analyses found that SBS behaviors were not associated with subsequent internalizing symptoms. Among girls, however, internalizing symptoms were associated with subsequent SBS behaviors during later adolescence, with internalizing symptoms at the 18-month assessment (almost 15 years old) associated with subsequent SBS behaviors at the 30-month assessment (almost 16 years old; β = 0.20, p < .01). Conclusions: Continued research and monitoring of internalizing symptoms and screen use among adolescents is important, especially among girls. This includes assessments that capture quantity, context, and content of screen time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Adolescent girls
  • Hispanic
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Screen use
  • Sedentary behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Screen-based sedentary behaviors and internalizing symptoms across time among U.S. Hispanic adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this