Negative Effects of Television on Children Research Paper

Pages: 10 (2867 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Negative Effects of Television on Children

How television affects children? Research states that the average child watches television at least 2 hours per week and most of this viewing is of a violent or sexual nature. During the time the child watches television there is at least one violent act shown every 6 minutes and on Saturday mornings there are 20 to 25 violent acts shown every hour on prime time television, especially in cartoons or in animated programs. So no matter rather a child is watching cartoons or a movie, it is damaging their sense of imagination and creativity. (Hottecker)

In today's generation television has a great influence on children. Unfortunately most of the programs watched by children have a negative impact and give the wrong impression of what actually happens in everyday life. Television also influences their development and their behaviors. "In fact childhood development experts say infants as young as 14 months old imitate behavior they see on television and children up to the age of 5 lack the cognitive ability to distinguish fact from fantasy"(Gunter) Therefore what children see on television is what they are most likely to imitate. Cartoons are showing numerous acts of violence and most of this violence is done by the "good guys." A good example of this are the Power Rangers. How do they get rid of the bad guys? By fighting. During the whole episode you see the "Rangers" kicking, punching

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Television and Children 2 and attacking the bad guys. Other shows like X-men, Sailor Moon, Looney Tones, and even Care Bears show violence towards others. No wonder children think that it is okay to act this way when the see their "Super Heroes," who are supposed to be the good guys, hurting and harming others. They see the good guys doing these things and think that it is appropriate.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Negative Effects of Television on Children How Assignment

In schools, teachers have noticed the difference between children who watch television excessively and those who don't watch television any time. "The watchers tend to fidget in their chairs, their eye contact is less stable and their attention to stories is significantly shortened." (Hottecker) Children who watch television find it harder to stay focused on one activity than a child who doesn't watch television. This can cause them have problems with group activities and act out negative behavior towards others. Although all this sounds bad the problem can be fixed by simply eliminating the time spent watching so much television and providing the children with more creative things to do. Some examples of creative things that children can do in place of watching television are painting, reading books, acting out stories with puppets, dancing, and getting them to interact with other children their own age in a safe and positive way. George Hottecker mentions these examples as positive ways of changing their behaviors and that "television just numbs the brain!"(Hottecker) So what was once thought to be a good idea of letting children watch television has turned out to be a bad one. Many thought that letting children watch television would make them smarter, but it only made them more violent and have less creativity and imagination. Breaking the cycle of violence begins with children learning to interact with each other in positive

Television and Children 3 ways and with little or no violence. If this can be accomplished then children are more likely to end the same message to their children and spend quality time with them.

On the other hand, there are many people who believe that television has a positive impact on a child's behavior. Research shows that children learn a lot from viewing educational programming.

This paper discusses some of the negative and some of the positive impacts that watching television has on children based on research. It will also discuss some steps that are being taken to help parents and adults control what their children are watching on television.

Research Showing Negative Effects

There has been much research done on the effects watching television can have on children. There are several methods of research that have been conducted to prove the effects of television. These research methods include surveys, observations, and case studies. This paper will attempt to describe different research projects that demonstrate the effects of television on children.

Television affects children in many ways. When one thinks about the effects of television on children, the first thing that comes to mind is the violence that is freely shown on many channels. However, there are other things on the television besides the violence that can affect a child's behavior. " Children often see or hear the news many times a day through television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Seeing and hearing about local and world events, such as natural disasters, catastrophic

Television and Children 4 events, and crime reports, may cause children to experience stress, anxiety, and fears." (Children and the News).

Every day the news is full of events that could possible leave a lasting effect on children. Natural disasters, war, criminal investigations, and accidents are a few examples of things that appear in news reports on a daily basis. Research shows that children are prone to imitate what they see and hear on the news. As a result of this constant exposure, children may become immune to fear and begin to engage in violent behavior and actions. Many television stations have a rating system for their programming that warns parents of the potential threat of affecting children; however, it has only been recently that news and media broadcast content has been questionable. Many news channels have taken steps to change the possible negative effects their content may have on children. Some of these steps include: " television channels and Internet services and sites which report the news 24 hours a day, television channels broadcasting live events as they are unfolding, in "real time," increased reporting of the details of the private lives of public figures and role models, pressure to get news to the public as part of the competitive nature of the entertainment industry, and detailed and repetitive visual coverage of natural disasters and violent acts." (Children and the News).

Television is full of violence. No one can turn on the television without seeing some form of violence. Even innocent programs such as children's cartoons and PBS have violent scenes. No one can watch television without witnessing a violent act of Television and Children 5 some sort. In the book Televisions Effects, a government study compiled by George A Comstock, it states that children who had viewed violent programming exhibited more aggressive behavior than children who had viewed a sports program. In the study they were able to tell which children would exhibit this behavior this shows a correlation between violent programming and violent behavior.

Observation research shows that children tend to mimic the things that they see on television. This is because it is difficult for children to distinguish the difference between reality and fiction. Many violent behaviors can be traced back to what the child had seen previously on the television.

Even if a violent nature is the root of the problem one needs to recognize that the television is making those naturally aggressive and violent children even more so. One needs to realize that these people have a hard time distinguishing between right and wrong. The problem needs to be corrected by total abstinence to television. In the book The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn, a book about the ill effects of television on the different aspects of human life, states "It is particularly hard for parents to buy the Idea that television instigates aggressive behavior when its function in the home is so different, television keeps children quiet and passive, cuts down on loud and boisterous play, prevents outbursts between brothers and sisters." The sad fact of the matter is, parents sometimes have to work and are not able to spend nebulous amounts of time with their children. Parents need to stop allowing their children to be exposed to the violent distortion of reality that TV projects. Children should be out playing sports or just

Television and Children 6 romping around in the backyard. Activities that are proven to wear kids out and don't bombard them with all kinds of extremely violent stimuli. By destroying TV families can increase productive family time. Parents need to stop desensitizing their children to violence and begin to teach their children good manners and good morals simply being an example.

Observation research has also proven that television not only affects the behavior of the child, but also can affect the cognitive ability of child as well. Six case studies containing data obtained from over 1 million students in elementary, intermediate, and high school were meta-analyzed to examine the relationship between amount of television viewing and educational achievement. The findings led to the formulation of the complex viewing-achievement model. According to the model, the function relating achievement to viewing can be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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