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Television and Children

Subject : Topic: Sociology A Term Paper on “Effects of Media on Children” Presented to: Ms. Wajiha Kazim Presented By:Maria Ehsan …. 05 Maryam Arshad …. 22 Hina Qamar …. 26 Nada Zain ul Abidin… 36 Zohra Niazi …. 48 2nd Semester BBA 2007-11 Evening Presented on: 13th June 2008 Friday Institute of Business Administration, Punjab University, Lahore Dedication This work is dedicated to our respected course instructor Ms. Wajiha Kazim, without whose helpful support it would not have been possible, and to our parents, who pray for us and had supported us in every way. u Acknowledgment t F r all we would like to express our deep gratitude to the Master of the Day of Judgment, who enabled us to reap the fruits of our efforts in an effective way. Our healthy gratitude and sincere thanks to our devoted course instructor “Miss Wajiha Kazim”, who has always been a source of guidance for us. It would have been impossible for us to complete such a comprehensive report on our own. There are also some others who assisted us for this achievement, especially our Parents and friends. So we also are very grateful to them. Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” Executive Summary

How media affects the children is undoubtly one of the hottest issues all over the world. The main focus of this term paper is on “Impact of Media on Children”. In this report we have mainly discussed electronic media especially in terms of television and games. We have also briefly focused on the impacts on advertisement on kids. We added some charts and graphs showing the time children spend with different types of media and also one showing the opinions of parents regarding impacts of media on their children. We have also recommended some ways to maximize media’s positive effects on children and minimize the negative ones.

To sum it all we have described how the researchers actually concluded this issue and then we also added our suggestions on the issue. Page 4 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” v Table of Contents s INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2 “CHILD”……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. BIOLOGICAL DEFINITION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2 “MEDIA”……………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2 POSITIVE EFFECTS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 MAKES A CHILD FEEL MORE CONFIDENT…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 BRAIN DEVELOPMENT……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ENHANCE IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4 POSITIVE EFFECTS OF CARTOON…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 HELPS IMPROVE VOCABULARY AND LEARN NEW LANGUAGES ………………………………………………………………………………………………. STATUS AND ROLE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 DEVELOP PARENT-CHILDREN RELATIONSHIP………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. EFFECT OF COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………….. 6 SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… NEGATIVE EFFECTS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7 UNHELPFUL CARTOONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ADVERTISEMENT …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8 IMPACT OF HORROR MOVIES AND CARTOONS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 IMPACT OF MEDIA’S PORTRAYAL OF PERSONALITIES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. MEDIA EXPOSE EVERY THING TO CHILDREN………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 MOVIES INSPIRE CHILDREN TO SMOKE,USE OF LOOSE LANGUAGE AND BEHAVIOR………………………………………………………………………….. 9 OBESITY……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. POOR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10 MEDIA & VIOLENCE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10 STEPS TO MAXIMIZE POSITIVE AND MINIMIZE NEGATIVE MEDIA EFFECTS…………………………………………. 10 PARENT RATINGS ON EFFECTS OF MEDIA: 2006…………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12 Page 5 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” Introduction Electronic media have long been criticized for their potential impact on children. With respect to children, we emphasize the importance of content in mediating the effect of television on cognitive skills and academic achievement. In today’s fast paced world we have allowed the media to become the leading touch of persuasion. The media is technology’s most powerful tool.

Unfortunately it does not always teach positive lessons to our children. It has provided the opportunity for children to distort reality into fallacies using such sources as television, music, video games and a number of new aged gadgets that we consider indispensable. For over thousands of today’s children the media has gained the power to, in fact, becomes the other parent. We’ll try to summarize the literature review, relevant research, articles, and studies from different newspaper and provide suggestions for maximizing the positive effects of media and minimizing the negative effects. “Child”

A child is most often defined as a young human being between birth and puberty; a boy or girl. The legal definition of “child” generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority. “Child” may also describe a relationship with a parent or authority figure, or signify group membership in a clan, tribe, or religion; or it can signify being strongly affected by a specific time, place, or circumstance, as in “a child of nature” or “a child of the Sixties. ” Biological definition Biologically, a child is “anyone in the developmental stage of childhood, between infancy and adulthood”.

In this term paper we consider a person child from “toddler to age 12” “Media” In general, “media” refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media. The term can also be used as a collective noun for the press or news reporting agencies. In the computer world, “media” is also used as a collective noun, but refers to different types of data storage options. We are discussing media mainly in terms of television and games. Result of a study showing average hours Spend by children each day with different types of media

Page 2 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” New Study Finds Children Age Zero to Six Spend As Much Time With TV, Computers and Video Games As Playing Outside “One in four children under two have a TV in their bedroom Children in “heavy” TV households are less likely to read Parents believe in educational value of TV and computers” Even the very youngest children in world are growing up immersed in media, spending hours a day watching TV and videos, using computers and playing video games, according to a new study released today by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Children six and under spend an average of two hours a day using screen media (1:58), about the same amount of time they spend playing outside (2:01), and well over the amount they spend reading or being read to (39 minutes). Positive effects Electronic media is a central focus of many very young children’s lives, used by parents to help manage busy schedules, keep the peace, and facilitate family routines such as eating, relaxing, and falling asleep, according to a new national study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Many parents also express satisfaction with the educational benefits of TV and how it can teach positive behaviors.

Media have certain positive effects. These are given below. ? Educational program By watching educational TV children at every age learn so many things. Infants and toddlers start learning different words, objects and their meanings. Math puzzles and many other activities enhance children’s decision power and mental ability. Baby TV is very popular now a day among children The research found that there is evidence to suggest that educational television programs, such as Sesame Street and Mister Rogers, can aid in the acquisition of general knowledge plus improve overall cognitive knowledge among young children.

Dimitri Christakis cites studies in which those who watched “Sesame Street” and other educational programs as preschoolers had higher grades, were reading more books, placed more value on achievement and were more creative. Quiz programs like “KBC” or “Are you smarter than a fifth grader? ” are also very popular among school going children. When a kid watches TV in his very early age, he learns many things before going school. He takes up things easily and tries to learn how to speak and conduct himself. To sum up TV is pre-school for toddler and early age kids.

While watching their favorite cartoon show, kids adopt many things and sometimes they talk and behave in the same manner as their favorite character does. Doing so they feel more comfortable and confident that they can talk to people and even can perform in front a crowd ? Makes a Child feel more confident Page 3 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” Neurodevelopment: Brain function and architecture are altered by exposure to audiovisual media during critical development between birth and 2 years of age. This will be reflected in long-term mental, behavioral outcomes.

The programs demonstrating healthy activities develop the brains of kids. These programs urge them to think and explore the world around them. The new ideas That they introduce in the programs attracts them and kids start using their intellects. These kinds of activities are crucial and important for the kids of early age who cannot go outside or they may need their parent’s help to go somewhere, with which they take the pleasure of life. Studies have shown that television and games improve the General Knowledge and IQ of Children. ? Brain Development Enhance imagination and creativity By watching different programs and cartoons children become more creative. They try to do things in different ways. so there imagination and creativity is enhanced. There is also evidence in the literature that children’s imaginative play can be positively affected by television content. In fact, several experiments have found that television can teach specific attention skills and strategies. TV offers a kid more opportunities to express himself. He gets new ideas with which he can show his talent.

Like NAT-geo is a kids’ channel where they perform experiments related to science (e. g. “Big Bang”, “Backyard Science” etc. ), play games, make art & craft stuff (“Art Attack”, “Finger Tips” etc. ), and sports. These healthy activities may lead a child to express himself in healthy way. Other TV shows like “How it’s made”, “I didn’t know that” and “How Stuff Works” shows and lets children know about how things are made and how they work, thus satisfying their curious minds and expanding their knowledge about the things around them. Dimitri Christakis. Smarter kids through television: debunking myths old and news”, Seattle Times Newspaper, February 22, 2007. ? Positive effects of cartoon Infant, toddlers and preschoolers learn so many things from cartoons like Baby Looney Tunes, Calliou, and different cd’s of cartoon movies. By watching these cartoons they start knowing different symbols. Words and many other gestures, they also know their meanings. They also learn good things like sharing, caring about friends, keeping the surrounding clean, and doing their duties (like homework) happily.

For example in Baby Looney Tunes where there are some children in a daycare and “Granny” looks after them, she encorages them to do good and also reward them when they do so. Similarly, when some one does a bad thing like lying Granny tells that ‘baby’ in a kind way that what he has done is wrong and sometimes even punishes him by no giving him desert after dinner to make him understand. This helps a child understand that he/she must do the right thing to be a “good child”. Good media increases the vocabulary of the kids. Children also learn to interact in various languages with help of television media.

For instance children who don’t have English as their first language, learn ? Helps Improve Vocabulary and Learn new languages Page 4 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” English more readily, from media (TV, games and educational software) as compared to their teacher and books etc… ? Status and role Media helps children to understand different status and roles played by different people. Especialy movies play an important role. Like in movie “Tary Zameen Per” children know that Darsheel is playing the role of a mentally sick child.

They also know that he is a brother, son and a student at the same time. And now he has achieved the status of a child hero. ? Develop parent-children relationship When parents buy different storybooks, watch different cartoons and children programs with their children or let their children to cinemas for watching movies. In each of the above case parents spend time with their children. As a result parents child relationship is improved. Many researches have shown that media influence parent child relationship. The rise of Internet has facilitated new forms of communication and social interactions.

Grandchildren can now keep up with their grandparents via e-mail. ? Effect of computer and video games Second most important media for children is Games. Video game is a communicating device between user interface and video display unit to generate visual effects. In a typical day about one in four (27%) 4-6 year-olds uses a computer, and those who do spend an average of just over an hour at the keyboard (1:04). More than a third (39%) of 4-6 year-olds use a computer several times a week or more; 37% in this age group can turn the computer on by themselves, and 40% can load a CD-ROM.

Computer use and video games have been more optimistic, with the relevant research seeming to support a link between both and cognition. They both are necessary for attention development and spatial cognition. ? Games develop the logical mindset of children. They are able to think logically and it also increases there thinking and grasping power ? Video games can develop the mathematical skills in children. Since for every game the kid tries to reach the next level, he will eagerly count the points that he earned. In this way, even a mathematics-resisted kid can able to improve the mathematical skills. Another very important positive effect of video games seen in children in the improvement in their hand-eye coordination. Psychologists have said that there are children who benefit from the proficiency and coordination of playing video games. .A player has to watch on screen while simultaneously operating the joystick of the device in his/her hand to make moves. This requires the player to be alert and well coordinated. Moreover, he/she can see his actions taking effect immediately, thus getting a first hand experience of his/her actions taking effect.

Page 5 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” ? Video games give the means to canalizes one’s emotions in a positive way. Anger, hatred and such other negative feelings in a person’s mind get a platform to come forth by way of a game. Players get to enact their frustrations in the virtual world. ? Team spirit is another positive effect of video games. Many games require a team of people or partners to play together. This fosters teamwork and cooperation in children. It can induce leadership skills in a child. Nottingham Trent University professor Mark Griffiths says that video games can prove to be a distraction for those undergoing painful cancer treatments. In a study conducted in 2004 by Butch Rosser, a surgeon of Laparoscopy, he studied the surgical skills of surgeons playing video games and surgeons who did not. It was astonishing to know from the results that surgeons playing video games were faster in action and made lesser mistakes during work than those who did not play video games. There are careers building around video gaming. We have programmers working as video game testers and game designers.

Video games that include simulation of real world scenarios are becoming popular. The United States has launched a game called ? Source of entertainment Television, Internet and other media are a source of entertainment for every child even for infants and toddlers. Like infants and toddlers enjoy sounds and movement and at the same time they also learn from it. Perceptually salient features of television such as movement and sound effects drive attention of children to informative features such as dialogue and narrative and they learn from visual and sound effects of objects The bottom line is that content is key — high-quality educational programming can have a positive effect on children,” said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle. Page 6 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” Negative Effects Children’s exposure to electronic media such as television, video games, the Internet, and music has increased enormously in recent decades. More than 100 studies have demonstrated a causal relationship between exposure to violence on television and aggressive behavior in children.

Other research points to possible relationships between children’s media consumption and obesity, smoking, increased isolation, decreased academic achievement, and exposure to gender and racial stereotypes, among other issues. Numerous studies have found that many parents do not limit their children’s media intake, and that they underestimate how much television their children watch. There are certain groups of children who are affected by it at a large scale. They are as follow 1) Children from minority and immigrant groups. ) Children who are emotionally disturbed or who have learning disabilities. 3) Children who are abused by parents. 4) Families in distress. Some of the negative effects that media has on children are as follow ? Psychological effect The basal ganglia portion of the brain becomes very active when a person plays video games and watches TV. And the body releases a chemical called dopamine. Ritalin (and cocaine) also works on the basal ganglia of the brain and increase dopamine. More dopamine is released; the less neurotransmitter is available to do anything else.

Preschoolers are not responding mindlessly to these physical features. Just as they are beginning to develop scripts and other schemas that help them organize and make sense of their experience with real life, it seems that preschoolers are also developing schemas related to the formal features of television, and can use them to explore the medium. Children who viewed the violent cartoons showed decreases in measures of self-regulation. Children who watch aggressive cartoons with lots of violence can be more likely to engage in aggressive behavior than those that do not.

A preschooer surprised her family by suddenly exressing fear and hostility toward “black people” after seeing this in cartoon with her family. she described the scene that have frightened her where a black slave was repeatedly whipped. She concluded that the character must be a very bad person to be so severely punished, and therefor must be very scary. She judge him entirely by the immediate and most obvious physical features in that scene, which made his dark skin and pain-contored face,appear both evil and scary. ? Unhelpful Cartoons Page 7 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” ? Advertisement

Television shows no longer just provide entertainment for children. Now they are a showcase for “must have” items that parents are expected to buy. They teach children to become consumers before they’ve even reached the age of 3. “A study published in this month’s Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reveals the more time a child spends watching TV, the more often they ask their parents to buy the products they see on the commercials. ” Advertisers have created a separate market for children. They spend about $12 billion per year on advertising to children in order to influence about $500 billion in spending.

Commercial messages found in all advertising – print, movies, videos, music videos, computer games and the Internet. These messages depict how cool it is to use tobacco products, promote consumption of candy and other unhealthy foods, and sanitize violence. All this could create addicts as well as physically and mentally unhealthy people. Advertising has had a powerful impact on today’s children. From songs, to logos, to characters, advertisers keep in mind their audiences. Competition is the force which causes advertisers to target children.

While the impact on adults may be a problem, the outcome is devastating for our children. Advertising has numerous methods to hook the individual into “buying their products and services. ” The advertising company surrounds a particular candidate such as a child and immediately sinks their teeth into the child’s mind to manipulate the child into desiring their products. Through TV, cartoons and magazine ads, children are hit by one concealed message after another. They are shown how this product will either improve their status by making them they envy of all their friends. ? Impact of horror movies and cartoons

Children who watch horror movies, shows, may have some emotional or psychological problems. Toddlers and young children who watch violent movies, including Halloween horror films, television shows may be more likely to develop anxiety, sleep disorders, and aggressive and self-endangering behaviors. ? Impact of Media’s portrayal of personalities Representations of males and females in video games can send harmful messages to both boys and girls. Girls may try to achieve a feminine ideal that is presented in the games, and their self-esteem is affected when that ideal cannot be attained.

Furthermore, women are taught that gender appeal is valued above all else given the uncontrolled objectification of female game characters. Boys, on the other hand, develop unattainable expectations for women and learn that it is acceptable to treat women unrespectfully. At the same time, boys learn to associate violence and muscles with what it means to be male. Magazines, television, video games and music videos all have a damaging effect, a task force from the American Psychological Association reported. This type of portrayal of girls in media can lead to a lack

Page 8 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” of confidence with their bodies as well as depression and eating disorders. Such images also have a negative effect on healthy development in girls, the researchers said. Experts: media images harmful to young girls (BBC, 2/20/07) ? Media expose every thing to children television can show children what adults may not want them to know. A key example of this is in the television show “Father Knows Best”here children are let in on perhaps the biggest secret: that adults keep secrets from them.

Similarly children who use internet could know many unethical things Parents more worried about internet than television,survey finds(san franciscochronicle,6/07/06,by Garafoli) ? Movies inspire children to smoke,use of loose language and behavior There are many researches and studies which demonstrate thatwhen children watch different movies they are insrired be heroes and they start using loose words ,behaviors and smoking. Children adapt bad habits more readily, from media, as compared to any other source. Study:movies inspire children to smoke (prediatrics,11/05,by sargent et al) Obesity Marketing plays a central role in the rise in childhood obesity. On average, one food commercial is shown every five minutes during Saturday morning cartoons. Young kids are exposed to endorsements or “tie-in’s” from junk food companies with every click of the remote. This manipulation is obvious but extremely lucrative — and the trend is growing. Since 1960 the number of kids who are overweight has tripled; childhood obesity is now described as “epidemic” by the medical community. Additionally, it’s estimated that 80% of adolescents who are overweight will remain so into adulthood.

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls the costs associated with childhood obesity “staggering. ” 84% of middle schools and 58% of elementary schools allow the sale of soda or other sugar-laden drinks on their grounds. There have been numerous attempts by big-name food brands to identify themselves with a healthy, active lifestyle. Many toys are co-branded with the junk food industry; fast food establishments lead the trend by including movie-related toys in their kids’ meals. The role of media in chlidhood obesity (Kaiser foundation,2/04) Page 9 of 16 Sociology Term paper: “Effects of Media on Children” Poor academic performance Too much media — for kids of all ages — can have a negative impact on their school readiness and academic performance. Specifically, poor grades and low reading ability and vocabulary are connected with too much media consumption. Plus, media usage and “multi-tasking. This may contribute to kids paying less dedicated attention to their homework. As an example of one study, a longitudinal study in New Zealand involving 1000 people demonstrated that “television viewing in childhood and adolescence is associated with poor educational achievement by 12 years of age”.

Many experts say that for academic success,turn off the TV and many researches prove it. study:for academic success, turn off the television (Cox News Service, 9/25/06) ? Media & violence Watching media violence significantly increases the risk that a viewer or video game player will behave aggressively in both the short and long term. Children who observe violence or are victims of it show more behavior problems than other children. Media Violence Linked To Concentration, Self-control, Our brains hold many of the mysteries of who we are and why we do what we do.

Unlocking the mystery of how exposure to violent media affects our brains. Television violence has also been found to have emotional effects on children. Children may become desensitized to real-life violence, they may come to see the world as a mean and scary place, or they may come to expect others to resort to physical violence to resolve conflicts. Although some early research suggested that televised violence might allow viewers to vent destructive impulses through fantasy instead of acting them out against real-life targets. Children who consume high levels of media violence are more likely to be aggressive in the real world.

Some experts, like University of Michigan professor L. Rowell Huesmann, argue that fifty years of evidence show “that exposure to media violence causes children to behave more aggressively and affects them as adults’ years later. ” Steps to maximize positive and minimize negative media effects ? Every one around a child plays an important role in maximizing positive media effects and minimizing negative media effects like teachers, parents, producers and government. So following are the ways in which a person can maximize positive effects. ? Parents avoid letting their children under age 2 watch