Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Manoj Sharma


The noticeable disparity in youth access of preventive healthcare and youth’s tendency towards excessive screen time have been linked to poor health outcomes. This issue prompted the current study, which had three core purposes: to identify associations between screen time and selected health behaviors, to identify target sociocultural and personal determinants of youth health, and to provide evidence to prompt innovation in promoting youth health via screen-based strategies. The social cognitive theory provided a context for triadic reciprocity between youth personal factors, environmental factors, and behaviors. A quantitative secondary analysis was completed using SPSS-27 to identify whether there was an association between screen time and sexual health, nonviolent accidental injury death prevention (NVAIDP), and healthy weight management (HWM) behaviors, while controlling for race, sex, age, and grade level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey System data were used in the binomial logistic regressions with bidirectional stepwise elimination. Screen time > 2 hours was significantly associated (p < 0.005) with sexual health behaviors and HWM behaviors. However, screen time > 2 hours was negatively associated with NVAIDP behaviors, while non-White race and older youth were negatively associated with sexual health behaviors. Sex and grade level were not significant predictors of health behaviors among youth. There is opportunity for research and policy driven, practitioner-facilitated positive social change to promote youth health by actively and deliberately harnessing excess screen time tendencies among youth rather than suppressing these tendencies, especially among non-White, older youth.