A Network Perspective on the Relationship between Screen Time, Executive Function, and Fundamental Motor Skills among Preschoolers

Clarice Martins, Paulo Bandeira, Natalia Lemos, Thaynã Alves Bezerra , Cain Clark, Jorge Mota, Michael Duncan

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The present study aimed to analyze the dynamic and nonlinear association between screen time, executive function (EF), and fundamental motor skills (FMS) in preschoolers, considering sex and body mass index (BMI) from a network perspective. Forty-two preschoolers (24 boys, 3.91 ± 0.77 years old) provided screen time, EF, FMS, and BMI data. EF was measured using the Go/No Go task, and accuracy of Go (sustain attention), reaction time of Go, and accuracy of No Go (inhibitory control) were considered. Relationships between screen time, EF, FMS, sex, and BMI were explored using a network analysis. The emerged network highlights that screen time is intensely associated with the other variables in the network, while the accuracy of Go has the greater connectivity with other nodes in the network (2.27), being the most sensitive to potential intervention changes. Moreover, sex (1.74), screen time (0.93), and accuracy of Go (0.71) showed the greatest closeness. This study showed that in the emerged network, independent of sex, screen exposure affects the accuracy on Go task, and these components affect the variables in the network, as motor abilities and tasks involved in inhibitory control.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8861
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • screen time
  • fundamental motor skills
  • executive function
  • network perspective
  • Screen time
  • Executive function
  • Network perspective
  • Fundamental motor skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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