Center on Media and Child Health:
What you need to know about media and children’s health
Quantity of Media Consumption:
The average US child aged 8 months to 8 years is exposed to almost 4 hours of background television on a typical day. Younger children and African American children were exposed to more background television. The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned against background television, because it can harm children’s cognitive functioning and social play.
Kaiser Family Foundation survey, January 2010: Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, January 20, 2010
The amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically over the past five years, especially among minority youth. Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media in a typical day – more than 53 hours a week.
Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America A Common Sense Media Research Study October 28, 2013
Reporting changes since last report in 2011, including dramatic increase in use of mobile media devices among young children.
Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America A Common Sense Media Research Study October 25, 2011
Studies, reports, advocacy activities
Eyes in the Aisles: Why is Cap’n Crunch Looking Down at My Child? Environment & Behavior. 2014
Latest study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Sexualized Teen Girls: Tinsel Town’s New Target, 2010 Parents Television Council
After reviewing more than 1000 studies based on over 30 years of research, 6 major public health organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that “viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values, and behavior, particularly in children.”
Influence of Licensed Characters on Children’s Taste and Snack Preferences Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Oct. 2011
Reality on MTV: Gender Protrayals on MTV Reality Programming, 2011 Parents Television Council
AAUW report: Crossing the Line – Sexual Harrassment at School Study on the specific type of bullying that is sexual harrassment
Girl Scouts’ Healthy Media Commission Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls
The Ratings Sham II Parents Television Council on the network’s ratings system
Advertising to Kids and the FTC: A Regulatory Retrospective That Advises the Present
The Educational Cost of Schoolhouse Commercialism, 2011 National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder
Overall, marketing activities in schools actively threaten high-quality education by causing psychological, health-related, and academic harm to students. Commercial activities offer children experiences primarily intended to serve the sponsors and not the children themselves; they are therefore inherently “mis-educative,” because they promote unreflective consumption rather than critical thinking and rational decision making.
Children, Wired: For Better and For Worse In Neuron: Fascinating overview of research on both the positive and negative effects of television, video games and internet use, depending on content, context and the user’s developmental stage.
Resources for Parents
Infant / Toddler Play, Toys and Media Action Guide Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment TRUCE