To analyze the association between perceptions of neighborhood safety (PNS) and screen time among adolescents and to assess the moderating effects of sex, age and socioeconomic status.
A cross-sectional study with school survey was conducted in Curitiba, Brazil. First, six schools (three public and three private) were intentionally selected. Next, one class within each educational level (from the sixth year of elementary school to the third year of high school) was randomly selected. PNS was assessed using a NEWS-Y scale, and daily screen time was defined as the time spent watching TV/videos/DVDs, playing video games and using the Internet. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to test the association between PNS and screen time, adjusting for the confounding variables.
The sample included 776 adolescents (boys and girls), aged between 11 and 18 years old. Perceived crime was associated with time playing video games among older teenagers (p < 0.05). Pedestrian and traffic safety was inversely associated with time playing video games among adolescents with high socioeconomic status (p < 0.05).
The association between PNS and screen time is complex among adolescents and varies according to sociodemographic variables and the screen time outcome (TV/videos/DVDs, video games and the Internet).