ERIC Number: ED281673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Television Viewing Patterns in Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Investigation.
Huston, Aletha C.; And Others
A 2-year longitudinal investigation of developing television viewing patterns involved 271 children who were followed from 3 to 5 or 5 to 7 years of age. Viewing was measured from diaries maintained by parents for 1 week in the spring and 1 week in the fall for 2 years. Programs were classified as (1) child informative or educational; (2) cartoons; (3) other child shows; (4) adult informational, including news and sports; (5) comedy; (6) drama; (7) action adventure; and (8) miscellaneous. Programs were also coded for two dimensions reflecting cognitive processing requirements: redundancy of characters and settings, and temporal integration demands. Age changes occurred on four program types. Viewing the child informative programs peaked at ages 3.5 and 4, then declined steadily. Viewing cartoons and general audience comedies increased from age 3 to 5, and leveled off between 5 and 7. Viewing adult informational programs decreased linearly with age. For child audience programs, the cognitive processing requirements of the programs viewed increased with age. Developmental changes were attributed to age changes in cognitive development, media knowledge, independence from adults, and activities away from home. Boys watched more than girls in four program categories: cartoons, adult informational, action adventure, and miscellaneous. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A