ERIC Number: ED362927
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
"O.K. Where's the Remote?" Children, Families, and Remote Control Devices.
Krendl, Kathy A.; And Others
This paper, part of a larger study of new television technologies, examines how preschool children integrate remote control devices (RCDs) into their television viewing behavior, preschoolers' competence with and knowledge of RCDs, and the role of the RCD in shaping family viewing styles. Subjects, 50 children aged 4 to 6 years attending 3 preschools in a small midwestern city, were interviewed at school concerning their knowledge and use of RCDs. Extensive in-home observations and in-depth interviews with parents and a target preschool child in each of three families complemented the data obtained through the interviews. Results indicated that: (1) preschoolers have ready access to RCDs in their homes and are active users of the device; (2) if they have access to the devices, even young children will learn the device's basic functions; (3) the RCD is considered by parents to be a non-threatening tool; (4) preschoolers use the RCD keypad in very basic ways to control the television; (5) preschoolers' RCD use patterns are related to, but not a direct imitation of, their parents' RCD use; (6) children play an important role in shaping family viewing styles and practices, just as parents play an important role in shaping children's viewing; and (7) once the children disappear from the viewing environment, a viewing style characterized by much higher levels of "grazing" behaviors was evident. Findings suggest that family viewing styles have been influenced by the introduction of the RCD, but that each family integrates the device somewhat differently into their family viewing. (Contains 20 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Remote Control Devices
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (43rd, Washington, DC, May 27-31, 1993).