Sociodemographic factors and social media use in 9-year-old children: the Generation R Study

Yueyue You, Junwen Yang-Huang, Hein Raat, Amy van Grieken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Background: We aimed to investigate the associations between sociodemographic factors and instant messaging and social network site exposure among 9-year-old children. Methods: Data of 4568 children from the Generation R study, a population-based cohort study performed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, were analyzed. Instant messaging exposure was defined as using online chat applications such as MSN, chat boxes, WhatsApp, and Ping. Social network site exposure was defined as using Hyves or Facebook. A series of multiple logistic regression analyses were performed, adjusting for covariates. Results: Children of low educated mothers had a higher odds ratio (OR) for instant messaging (OR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.86) and social network site exposure (OR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.13, 2.66) than their counterparts. Being a child from a single-parent family was associated with instant messaging (OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.16, 1.88) and social network site exposure (OR: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.78) more often than their counterparts. Children of low educated fathers (OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.95) or from families with financial difficulties (OR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.59) were associated with a higher OR of social network site exposure than their counterparts. Conclusion: The findings suggest that several indicators of lower social position are associated with higher social network site and instant messaging exposure among 9-year-old children. More research is needed in younger children to understand the determinants and impact of social media use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1966
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date30 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Generation R Study is conducted by the Erasmus Medical Center in close collaboration with the School of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Municipal Health Service Rotterdam area, Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Homecare Foundation, Rotterdam, and the Stichting Trombosedienst & Artsenlaboratorium Rijnmond (STAR-MDC), Rotterdam. The authors wish to thank the study participants for their contribution to the study, as well as current and past investigators and staff.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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