Children and Television

Children and Television

Children and Television

Children and Television


Children and Television addresses the question: Does TV influence children to become more aggressive or can it encourage good behavior? This completely revised second edition provides a comprehensive review of recent literature on television's effect on children. A new chapter on children's health has been added to updated ones on anti-social and good behavior, consumer behavior, educational development and the role of parents and broadcasters in influencing children's viewing. This second edition also considers the new entertainment media, such as CD-ROMs and interactive video games, that are increasingly available to children of all ages.

-- Examines the pros and cons of TV and newer media such as CD-ROMs and interactive video games

-- Includes coverage of health issues


How does today's society perceive children and television and the interaction between the two? Are youngsters really spending a high proportion of their waking hours staring fixedly at a television screen, making little attempt to communicate with the rest of the household? Do they passively absorb all they see and hear irrespective of content or format? And has the continuous bombardment of media 'messages' been a prime factor in increased breakdown of family life or encouraged spates of violent and antisocial behaviour amongst adolescents? If some of the sweeping generalisations quoted regularly in the daily press are to be believed, this and more is the 'true' effect of television-or is it?

Back in the nineteenth century and earlier in this one, concerns were expressed about the harmful effects that the growing avalanche of 'pulp literature' such as 'penny dreadfuls', cheap novelettes and comics would have, both on the young and the less well-educated. Nowadays, although some concern is still expressed about the content and quality of children's literature, notably comics and the ubiquitous Enid Blyton, it is a mere 'drop in the ocean' when compared with the amount of criticism levelled at television. But how much of this criticism is based on 'myth' and therefore unjustified and how much is reality?


In Britain today, 98 per cent of all homes possess at least one television set, the majority of them (particularly those with children) more than one, yet in the early 1950s only a handful of people had the desire or the means to purchase a set. However, from the late 1950s onwards, there was a phenomenal explosion in the number of television households, with a parallel increase in the amount and type of programming. More and more, educationalists, politicians, as well as other authority figures started to voice their fears about the social and educational impact that this new medium

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