[RFHF] In the News: The impact of TV content on 3-5 year olds.

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Mon Feb 25 13:49:26 PST 2013

Hello! There is lots of research that shows children under two shouldn't be exposed to screen media, that media use should be limited for older children, and how parents can use media more effectively with their children to limit negative impacts or even foster learning. Over the years many of you have asked me about research about how content impacts children, but I have never been able to find anything that specifically says violent shows=aggressive kids or educational shows=well behaved kids... until now!

Certain Television Fare Can Help Ease Aggression in Young Children, Study Finds<http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/certain-television-fare-can-help-ease-aggression-in-young-children-study-finds/>
by Catherine Saint Louis

Key points copied and pasted from the article:

*          [reducing exposure to violence-laden videos and television shows and increasing educational videos and shows] reduced the children's aggression toward others, compared with a group of children who were allowed to watch whatever they wanted.

*         exposing kids to less adult television, less aggression on television and more pro-social television - will have an effect on behavior."

*         The children who watched less violent shows also scored higher on measures of social competence, a difference that persisted after one year.

*         Low-income boys showed the most improvement, though the researchers could not say why. Total viewing time did not differ between the two groups.

*          "Merely being exposed to pro-social media doesn't mean that kids take it that way." Even educational programming with messages of empathy can be misunderstood by preschoolers, with negative consequences.

*         The study was on children ages 3 to 5-it is still recommended that children under two have no screen time.

*         The new study has limitations, experts noted. Data on both the children's television habits and their behavior was reported by their parents, who may not be objective. And the study focused only on media content in the home, although some preschool-aged children are exposed to programming elsewhere.

Messages to share with parents copied and pasted from the article:

*         "The take-home message for parents is it's not just about turning off the TV; it's about changing the channel,"

*         Parents [were also encouraged] to watch television with their children and ask questions during the shows about the best ways to deal with conflict [and] set television-watching goals for their preschoolers.

*         He also urged parents to stick with age-appropriate programming. A 3-year-old might misunderstand the sibling strife in the PBS show "Arthur," he said, or stop paying attention before it is resolved.

If the hyperlink doesn't work, try copying and pasting this URL into your browser: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/certain-television-fare-can-help-ease-aggression-in-young-children-study-finds/#<http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/certain-television-fare-can-help-ease-aggression-in-young-children-study-finds/>

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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