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Digital device usage should be contingent upon children being forthright regarding this information. Monitor digital technology including what children post on apps. The digital devices are your property, not theirs. Give consequences when children fail to be good digital citizens by posting inappropriate pictures, posts, being disrespectful toward others online, failing to be forthcoming about passwords, downloading apps without permission, or acting impulsively online. Consequences should include loss of cell phone or other digital technology device.
Loss of the digital technology device for a few days or weeks is an appropriate natural consequence. This is another appropriate consequence! In a study of over , adolescents from 37 countries, researchers found that increased hours spent watching television were associated with higher BMI in adolescents with an apparent dose response effect.
The negative associations between excessive media exposure and academic performance has been well documented. Children with a television in their bedroom are known to score 7 to 8 points lower on standardized tests for mathematics and reading than those without a television in their bedroom.
If instant messaging via electronic devices is considered, research notes there may be a negative impact on academic performance when messaging interferes with sleep.
Internet bullying cyber bullying is common and has serious consequences. However, only 1 in 10 teens tell a parent about the bullying. Sadly, some victims of cyber bullying resort to suicide to escape the embarrassment. A review of 37 studies found a definite relationship between cyber bullying and suicidal ideation and behavior. Several studies demonstrate the relationship between increased use of screen time and depression.
A study of Australian adolescents utilizing self-report surveys found a relationship between increased leisure time screen use and depressive symptoms in the younger 12 — year-old adolescents. A Meta-Analysis from the British Journal of Sports Medicine in suggests that screen time in children and adolescents is associated with depression risk in a non-linear dose-response manner.
Also of grave concern is the association between viewing media violence and increased real-life aggression. A research paper entitled Health Effects of Media on Children and Adolescents, poignantly states:. However, the connection is significant. The most problematic forms of media violence include attractive and unpunished perpetrators, no harm to victims, realism, and humor. Numerous studies have now documented the link between viewing violence and future aggressive behavior. More concerning is the fact that not only is violence depicted frequently in media, but it is depicted in ways that reinforce aggressive behavior in viewers—it is shown as justifiable, realistic, and without adverse consequences.
Video games deserve special mention; as even parents of toddlers are utilizing the games on their smartphones to entertain their young children.go to link
Media Education Bibliography () - Media Literacy Clearinghouse
Half of all video games contain violence, and 90 percent of video games marketed to children age 10 years and older have violent content. Unfortunately, the top selling video games are those that are the most violent, and parents provide less oversight for video games than they do for television viewing. Ninety percent of adolescents in grades 8 — 12 reported their parents never check the ratings of video games prior to purchase and 89 percent stated their parents never limited time playing video games. There is less research on the impact of reading violence, but one study indicates the possible adverse effects of reading literature that depicts physical and relational aggression.
Using undergraduate college students, one study evaluated the impact of reading selections with either physical or relational aggression and the impact on subsequent behavior. Mirror neurons are cells in the brain that appear to be involved in the development of empathy and compassion. Students attending a nature camp who went without screen time for five days were compared with students who would attend the camp later.
Each set of students were evaluated at the beginning and end of the week, with the students who attended camp and went without screen time improving in their emotional cognition after only five days of non-use. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills.
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The amount of time a parent views television can influence the amount of screen time a child experiences. The impact of cell phone use on parenting is a new area of research, but the data that is surfacing is concerning. An online survey 52 of children and parents found 54 percent of children said their parents checked their smartphones too often, and 32 percent felt they were unimportant when parents were distracted.
Parents agreed. Over half of the parents said they probably checked their smartphones too frequently and 28 percent felt they did not set a good example for their children. In addition, 25 percent stated they wanted their children to use their smartphones less. A study from Boston Medical Center evaluated parent-child interactions at fast food restaurants.
Fifty-five caregivers were observed, and children were between infancy and 10 years of age. Forty of the caregivers used a cell phone during the meal and 16 used it throughout the entire meal. Since young children learn more from face-to-face encounters, and older children feel unimportant when parents are using cell phones, parents must be encouraged to turn off their cell phones when interacting with their children. Several national surveys have demonstrated the widespread use of cell phones while driving, including texting.
In a study of people aged 16 years and older, 58 percent of the 16 — year-old drivers stated they had talked on a cell phone, 39 percent said they had read texts or emails, and 31 percent said they had sent emails or texts while driving within the last month. Another study of high school students aged 16 and up found 45 percent of drivers said they had texted while driving within the preceding month.
Since even experienced drivers are at risk for distracted driving and show slower responses to hazards when talking on a cell phone, it is important for inexperienced adolescent drivers to be encouraged to avoid all technology while operating a vehicle. It is also important to mention the impact not only of media content but also of sponsors i.
Advertising is a powerful force in American culture. The preeminent advertising medium is television. The television commercial is likely the single most influential source of information to which the young are exposed. The average American child will have viewed approximately , television commercials by the end of high school.
Numerous studies have documented that the young child is often unable to understand the intent of advertising and usually accepts the advertising claim as true. Among products seen on television, food is the most widely advertised. Only 15 percent of food ads targeting children include reference to an active lifestyle.
Children under eight years old see one PSA on fitness and nutrition for every 26 food-related advertisements. In addition, the sedentary hours spent viewing media take away from outdoor activities that might promote a healthy lifestyle and counter the rising incidence of obesity.
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The College emphasizes the positive and critical role of media education defined as learning how to analyze the underpinnings and influence of mass media. A media-educated public is better able to understand mass media messages and their purposes. A media-educated person understands that all media messages are constructed, that media messages shape our understanding of the culture, and that mass media has powerful economic implications. It is crucial that all parents become media educated. Parents should be aware of program ratings and monitor programs that their children watch.
Media education of children has been accomplished as early as elementary school. It has been incorporated into school curricula in Canada, Australia, and Brazil. As a result of this intervention, children have demonstrated the ability to evaluate programs and advertising more critically. At the current time, disappointingly, parents cannot confidently look to the media for a consistent menu of high-quality programming. Pediatricians and parents must do their part, ideally working with the media, to secure opportunities for educating children that facilitates the best outcomes for children.
We urge them to do so. The American College of Pediatricians is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents.
The mission of the College is to enable all children to reach their optimal, physical, and emotional health and well-being. Pediatric Clinics of North America. Policy Statement — Media Violence. Council on Communications and Media. American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy Statement — Media Education. Generation M2 — Media in the lives of 8 — 18 year olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study.
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Published January Accessed on August 29, Pediatric Clinics of N America. Digital childhood: electronic media and technology use among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. BMJ Open. Accessed March 1, Sosa, AV.
JAMA Pediatr. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Children, adolescents, and television. Age-related changes in deferred imitation from television by 6 to 18 month olds. Dev Sci.
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Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in children. Television and video game exposure and the development of attention problems. Sexuality, contraception, and the media. Collins RL, et al. Watching sex on television predicts adolescent initiation of sexual behavior. Escobar-Chaves SL, et al. Impact of the media on adolescent sexual attitudes and behaviors. Suppl to Pediatrics. Greater exposure to sexual content in popular movies predicts earlier sexual debut and increased sexual risk taking.
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