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The influence of media on children has been the subject of increased attention among parents, educators, and health care professionals. The significance of this issue becomes obvious when one notes the diversity of Americans who share this concern.
Included in this group of concerned citizens are those, most notably politicians, who typically stand in opposition to one another on many issues, but who stand together in agreement on this one. Media influence on children has steadily increased as new and more sophisticated types of media have been developed and made available to the American public.
Availability, as well as greater affordability for American families, has provided easier access to media for children. Beneficial effects include early readiness for learning, educational enrichment, opportunities to view or participate in discussions of social issues, exposure to the arts through music and performance, and entertainment.
Harmful effects may result from sensationalization of violent behavior, exposure to subtle or explicit sexual content, promotion of unrealistic body images, presentation of poor health habits as desirable practices, and exposure to persuasive advertising targeting children.
In the following discussion, some attention will be given to the beneficial effects of media on children, but the primary focus will be on negative influences, which have been more widely researched.
History of Media for Children The twentieth century was a time of phenomenal growth and development of new kinds of media. In the early twentieth century, film, radio, and newspapers were the media forms to which children had access, though limited.
Beginning in the early s and continuing through the end of the century, children's media experiences expanded to include television, recorded music, videotapes, electronic games, interactive computer software, and the Internet.
Print media, such as comic books and children's magazines, also expanded during this period, though not at the same accelerated rate as the visual electronic media.
Commercial television made its debut ininitiating a new era of media influence. One of the earliest documented examples of the effect of advertising in the media was the introduction in of television ads for Mr. Potato Head, a toy manufactured by Hasbro. At that time, more than two-thirds of television sets were owned by families with children under twelve years of age.
Educational programming, offered primarily on public television stations, was the next milestone in television's early influences on children. In the larger discussion of media influence on children, educational programming is without question the source of the most significant and long-lasting positive effects.
The creation of a television production company dedicated to children's educational programming was a result of Cooney's study of television for preschool children for the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The project that evolved was a research-based collaboration by educators, psychologists, child development experts, writers and musicians. Sesame Street was the first program produced, making its televised debut in Sesame Street was designed to combine education with entertainment and to target children of preschool age.Adults may be completely unaware that this might have a certain impact on the child's psychological development.
Experts conclude that kids who watch cartoons full of violence tend to be nervous, agressive and belligerent. Moreover, these children are impatient and disobedient. There are three main effects of cartoons that concern violence .
Exposure to Domestic Violence and its Effect on Children’s Brain Development and Functioning views of the Government of Ontario.
This is a refereed publication. Research and cartoon violence Professor L Rowell Huesmann, senior research professor at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, in the USA, says there is little difference between the Tom & Jerry era of cartoons and the violence in cartoons now.
Perceived Influence of Television Cartoons on Nigerian Children’s Social Behaviour1 affect how they are influenced by cartoon violence. Children are more likely to the development of the child’s social behaviour as a whole.
Baran and Davis (, p) argue that “Media have become a primary means by which, many. The judge announced that they "will fight 'til the last one's standing" and they engaged in a brutal battle. Although there was a victory of good over evil, the violence that is present throughout this popular cartoon undoubtedly has a negative impact on children.
An experiment with second through sixth graders was conducted to determine the effectiveness of an active mediation strategy: encouraging children to focus on the feelings of the victim of violence in a cartoon.