In this day and age television has begun to play a larger role in contributing to the overall well being of children. Since the advent of television, its technology and capability to entice the mind of a child has grown exponentially through numerous show directly targeted for children. With the average time of television consumed growing, the effect on a child is more impactful than ever. Incorporated with television programs, advertisements play a vital role in impacting to the overall effect television plays on a child. Studies have shown that the negative effects of television have out numbered the positive effects that may be present. The common positive perception of television being that it acts, as a learning mechanism, and as an educational necessity for some. While in reality, being that television not only negatively affects the cognitive development of the child’s mental faculties but also severely degrigates the health and physicality of a growing child, through ill practices of nutrition, proper exercise and physical activity. With the amount of time spent on consuming television outweighing all other activities besides sleep, today’s children are inevitably leading themselves to a path of self-degradation. Although some effects of television might be beneficial to children by providing some sort of an educational and learning aspect, all forms of television and advertisements negatively effect the cognitive development of their mental faculties and the disintegration of heir overall health and physicality, through the incessant barrage of mindless programming and brainwashing advertisements.
Through the decades of broadcasted television, children have grown found of their television and cherish it more than their childhood. This outcome has been viewed by society as a negative effect on their children through the onslaught as foolish entertainment passed off as children programming. Studies have been conducted to prove otherwise, it’s been linked that the repetitions of shows allow children to learn information with the repetition of a given show shows. Santomero with the University of Massachusetts Department of Physiology stating that, “Almost any theory of comprehension would predict that children’s comprehension of a television program improves with repetition” (Santomero). An educational episode of Blue’s Clues was show to 3-5 year olds for five consecutive days, recording their educational and entertainment values. Results that followed showed that with each consecutive repetition of the episode overall comprehension of he educational content improved. As a result repetition is a useful strategy for enhancing learning and program involvement in young children. Permitting repetition to be one of the useful tools, alongside many others that a child may obtain through television viewing.
With the advances in television, children are now capable to learn new material through the usage of different resources. Television is a key mechanism in conveying new information to children rather than less effective conventional methods. Studies have shown that children more readily through television rather than information conveyed through conventional methods such as printed information. Physiologist Walma van der Molen, with the US: American Psychological association claims:
A media comparison study of the transmission of television and print news information to children was undertaken by comparing children’s recall of news stories presented either audio visually or in print. Children learn most about the news in out-of-school situations, especially via television and to a lesser extent via newspapersâ€¦. The present study, however, may have implications for the contribution of television and print to children’s learning both in and outside of schoolâ€¦. Given that televised and printed news information is used in instruction, it is of interest to investigate from which medium children learn most. A study of the relative effectiveness of television and print to transmit news information to children may provide insight into how both media can be used to improve children’s retention of other subject matter as well (Walma van der Molen).
This study shows that while children absorb more information through television, due to its interactive characteristics than information conveyed through print media .The resources of television provide children with a lower proficiency in reading with the opportunity to expand their knowledge through different and innovative resources. Allowing children to not be restrained by their reading capabilities, and giving them the chance to use exiting and new methods for learning. It can be seen that not all aspects of television have a negative affect on young children. It has been proven that children learn and interact from using television as an instrument for learning rather than an instrument of mindless programming. By doing so not only can children use television as a learning mechanism they can have fun by doing so.
Although is pretty clear there are some benefits that surrounding the viewing of television by children, the negative effects outweigh the positive. The problematic issues regarding television have been growing at a substantial rate ever since its advent. Authors Shea, Harvey-Berino, and Johnson with the Department of Nutrition and Food, at the University of Vermont state that, “On average, Americans watch television for 4 hours and 45 minutes daily. Americans spend more time watching television that participating in any other activity besides work and sleep” (Shea, Harvey-Berino, Johnson). With the average time of television consumed at and already all time high and growing the reproductions are immense. Research has been linked to the influences television viewing has on the dietary quality of children:
Epidemiological studies have shown repeatedly that rates of obesity are associated with both increased media use and poor diet quality in children and adults. Such studies have also shown that hours of television watched are associated with an increased intake of nutrient-poor, energy dense foods and greater overall energy intakeâ€¦. Today, children and adolescents are watching more television than ever before and research has revealed that detrimental changes in diet may be associated with the increase in media use. In particular, it seems that diet quality is affected by the amount of television a child watches (Shea, Harvey-Berino, Johnson).
With the obesity rate substantially increasing in the United States, researchers were prompted to looking at secondary behaviors, such as television viewing, diet and obesity in children. The countless hours of television that children are encompassed by have been linked to their degrading health leading to obesity. With the amount of television that is being watched children are making poor decisions regarding the foods they consume. By taking in nutrient poor, and energy dense foods children have grown to become unhealthy, even in today’s society of larger kids. With the Intervention to reduce the viewing of television within children, it has been shown to lead to a decrease in meals eaten in front of the television. By reducing the intake of television a child can restrain him or herself from eating poor foods, thus preventing morbid obesity. But there are more aspects to television that may affect the health of a young child.
Advertisements play a vital role in contributing to the overall destruction of a child’s health. With countless amounts of brainwashing advertisements being aired on prime time television, children are inevitably consumed by their convincing messaging. Today’s television advertisements present children with an incessant barrage of unhealthy food promotions that can only lead to one road, unhealthiness eating behaviors and morbid obesity. Physiologist Terence Dovey claims that:
The ability to recognize the food adverts significantly correlated with the amount of food eaten after exposure to themâ€¦. The consumption of all the food offered increased post food advert with the exception of the low-fat savory snack. These data demonstrate obese children’s heightened alertness to food related cues. Moreover, exposure to such cues induce increased food intake in all children. As suggested the relationship between TV viewing and childhood obesity appears not merely a matter of excessive [inactive] activity. Exposure to food adverts promotes consumption (Dovey).
Through extensive experiments on the effects of food advertisements on children, clearly depicts that the advertisements of unhealthy foods lead to the increase in a child’s unhealthy food intake. With television advertisements being greatly influenced by unhealthy and nutrient poor foods, children have no other alternative but to stuff their faces with sweet and fatty foods that are known to be harmful for them. Due to the negative effect of television advertisements on food consumption in children the lasting effect on a child’s health is indescribable, and inevitably leads to obesity and greater illnesses.
The effects of television and television advertisements on children today have been directly linked to the overall health degradation; however, the negative effects don’t stop there.
The effects of television on a child’s mind don’t stop at their health, but continues to escalate on their mental cognitive faculties. Studies have been undertaken to provide research explaining the effects of prolong exposure to entertainment television. In a recent study professors Ennemoser, and Schneider of the Department of Psychology at the University of Wurzburg have conducted a 4 year study regarding the relations between television viewing and reading abilities:
â€¦ relations between entertainment program viewing and reading performance were generally negative. Children who were classified as heavy viewers (average viewing time per day = 117 min) showed lower progress in reading over time as compared to medium and light viewers (average viewing times per day 69 and 35 min, respectively) (Ennemoser, Schneider).
Not only is television playing a vital role in contributing to children’s health problems, but now it’s affecting their mental and cognitive development. The prolong exposer to television has been growing exponentially as more shows are being made and targeted for children. By way of children consuming more and more television and time goes on it is inevitable that their brains and mental abilities will slowly deteriorate. Preemptive action must be taken to allow today’s children to grow up and still be able to pass a reading literacy test for their specific age group; otherwise there is no hope for the future generations.
It is known that many of today’s children begin to watch television soon after birth, and a significant time each day is apportioned for that activity. Television playing such a vital role in children’s lives today it is almost impossible to break free even though the effects are detrimental for a child’s mental development. Playing a key part in language development television keeps children away from important aspects of day to day life that help develop their vocabulary. In an article in the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, authors Garvis, and Pendergast state:
Links between delayed language development and television viewing have also been found. A United States study found that young children aged two-48 months had language development delayed when the television was on. During television viewing, adult interactions with the child also decreased. Adults spoke less to children, with fewer examples of turn-taking responses and vocalisations (Garvis, Pendergast).
By enticing a child with television their only source of knowledge come from that almost magical box. They lose their connection to the real world and everyone else that’s in it. Because many children are focused on their television shows, they forget to interact with the people around them, varying from parents to siblings to friends. As an outcome they forget how to socialize and build their language and vocabulary skills that are relatively imperative to a child’s mental development. Activism with the people around you is the only way a child van grow his or her vocabulary:
Research also reveals that children under two years learn vocabulary better from real-life experience than from equivalent video presentation A similar study suggests that television models are less effective than live ones preserving discrimination of found speech sounds (phonemes) in young children vocalisations (Garvis, Pendergast).
Television consuming the lives of children has created this unbalance in a child’s active role with the people that surround them. Being active in real life experience enable kids to effectively practice and learn language, speech, and vocabulary by simply being active. The key here is to break free of the televisions hand and become independent to allow a child’s mind to fully develop as their ages grow. Otherwise the prolong exposure would inevitably lead to severe learning disabilities for a child’s education.
Playing a large role in determining that television has consequentially negative effect on a child’s mental cognitive development, it also plays a part in contributing to mental behavior and growth. With the variety of television shows that are being aired in prime television today it practically impossible to monitor every moment of a child’s television viewing. Violence is present in many of today’s television shows that children may have prolonged viewing too. This has proven to set an underlying tone is a child’s mental behavior development, as authors Garvis, and Pendergast state:
It is argued that young children seeing violence on television leads to responses such as the desensitization to the emotional effects of violence, a lack of empathy with victims of violence, an increased tendency to aggression, and the perception of the world as scary (RACP 2004). According to Young Media Australia (2007), exposure to violent content increases the risk that children may develop a violent mental script that is likely to be gendered (male as the hero/perpetrator and female as the victim) (Garvis, Pendergast).
Angela Santomero, et al. “Effects Of Repeated Exposures To A Single Episode Of The Television Program Blue’s Clues On The Viewing Behaviors And Comprehension Of Preschool Children.” Journal Of Educational Psychology 91.4 (1999): 630-637. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
Shea, BE, JR Harvey-Berino, and RK Johnson. “Watching Television: How Does It Influence The Dietary Quality Of Children?.” Nutrition Bulletin 35.2 (2010): 165-171. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
Terence M. Dovey, et al. “Effect Of Television Advertisements For Foods On Food Consumption In Children.” Appetite 42.2 (2004): 221. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
Walma van der Molen, Juliette H., and Tom H. A. van der Voort. “Children’s Recall Of Television And Print News: A Media Comparison Study.” Journal Of Educational Psychology 89.1 (1997): 82-91. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
Ennemoser, Marco, and Wolfgang Schneider. “Relations Of Television Viewing And Reading: Findings From A 4-Year Longitudinal Study.” Journal Of Educational Psychology 99.2 (2007): 349-368. Web. 21 Nov. 2012.
Garvis, Susanne, and Donna Pendergast. “Warning-Television Viewing May Harm Your Child’s Health: Parent Perceptions Of Early Childhood Viewing Habits.” Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood 36.4 (2011): 22-28. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Nov. 2012.