2 June 2014
How TV Can Effect Children Positively
I decided to see if television, which is notorious for having negative effects on children's education and attitudes, could have any positive effects. Surprisingly, there is a fair amount of studies that have been done that have seen positive correlations between TV-viewing and academic and social success, though there are even more sources that point out the negative effects. Through my own observations of my little siblings and cousins viewing habits, I felt confident that I could come up with an idea as to which side of this debate was correct. In my experience, my relations tend to favor watching Disney Channel and PBS. As will be noted later these channels tended to get the highest ratings for positive influence upon children by their parents. The parents surveyed also claimed that their children watched TV for relatively short amounts in a day. I concluded in my hypothesis that television watching can prove to have positive influences on children depending on the channel and programs watched as well as how many hours it is viewed. Literary Review
In order to support my hypothesis I looked into research that has already been collected on the subject. I found many sources that claimed that extreme amounts of "regular" television programming for young children can be extremely harmful. However, using school resources on the online databases, I was able to find multiple scholarly journals that support my hypothesis. In the first source,
"One longitudinal study (Anderson, Huston, Schmitt, Linebarger & Wright, 2001) found that adolescents who watched educational programs as preschoolers had a positive effect on their grades, behavior, creativity, and social behavior during later years (Austin)." This finding is monumental because it not only shows that academia can be improved through television watching, but that social behaviors can also be positively affected. It is important to note, however, that this study specifically highlights that "educational programs" are the TV shows that showed this positive success in young children. These are shows that specifically strive to improve children, rather than the cartoons and other less positively influential programs that children often chose to watch. These "educational programs" are, in fact, good for a child's development, but they are not always a child's or even a parent's first choice of watching material. That same journal goes on to support this claim about the importance of "educational programs" while also highlighting that "moderate levels" of television viewing is important,
"The utilization of informational television...can have a positive impact on student achievement if properly channeled. Moderate levels of meaningful and supervised television viewing may be better for children than too much or no viewing at all (Austin)." Television stays true to the old proverb that too much of a good thing is always harmful. However, it also is better than nothing which I found intriguing. Television has been proven to have positive effects and, fortunately, that cannot be denied. Many will argue that these proven positive effects are outweighed by the negative effects of aggression, lack of social interaction, and academic neglect. However according to this,
"The report by Jonson Et Al. is interesting in that it presents an association between the amount of television viewed at young ages and subsequent aggressive behavior as adults; however, it does not show causation (Kids)." it is not as big a problem as it is usually perceived to be, since a lack of causation implies that the television did not necessarily cause the aggressive behavior. Those children could have genetically been aggressive individuals or have become more aggressive due to their environments which, it is important to note, allowed them to watch television longer than the average child. Another...
Cited: Austin, William P., and Franklin T. Thompson. "Television viewing and academic achievement revisited." Education 124.1 (2003): 194+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 June 2014
"Forget twitter, think TV." Foreign Policy 175 (2009): 1. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 June 2014.
"Kids, TV viewing, and aggressive behavior. (Letters)." Science 297.5578 (2002): 49+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 June 2014.
Rosenzweig, Jane. "CAN TV IMPROVE US?" The American Prospect (1999): 58.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 June 2014.
Wilson, Barbara J. "The Future of Children, Princeton - Brookings: Providing Research and Analysis to Promote Effective Policies and Programs for Children." - The Future of Children -. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2014.
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