Welcome to the Net Muslims Forums.
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Administrator Array
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,154

    Default Children, Advertising, & Commericalization of Childhood

    Children, Advertising, & Commericalization of Childhood
    Some videos about these topics:

    Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKH4YGKnOSs

    Marketing To Children
    Explains the rationale for marketers to manipulate children to nag their parents to influence purchasing decisions.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-KwC...eature=related

    Susan Linn - Harvard - Part 1
    Susan Linn is the associate director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children's Center, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and director of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya84a82RkhU
    Parts 2 and 3 also posted in the Related Videos section.

    The Baby Einstein Controversy - Susan Linn
    Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Susan Linn talks about her FTC complaint filed against Disney's Baby Einstein as "false and deceptive marketing."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtJs1jufYZQ

    Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
    Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers
    http://www.commercialexploitation.com/


    “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

  2. #2
    Administrator Array
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,154

    Default Television could be hazardous to babies' growth

    Television could be hazardous to babies' growth
    Shannon Proudfoot
    Canwest News Service
    http://www.commercialexploitation.co...television.htm
    July 15, 2008

    A television chattering away in the background distracts children as young as 12 months - even if the TV is playing adult programs - and could represent "a significant environmental hazard" to their development, according to a study released Monday.

    Researchers studying children aged one to three found that when a TV was on and playing an episode of Jeopardy, the toddlers spent half as much time playing with a toy before moving onto another activity and three-quarters as much time in intense, focused play as they did when the TV was switched off.

    "It's all just play, but it's thought to be very important and essentially the child is programming their own brain with this kind of activity," says author Daniel Anderson, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts. "At the very least, parents should make sure children have plenty of quiet time for play."

    The long-term effects of TV distraction need to be studied further, he says, but interrupted play sessions could lead to attention and other problems.

    Most researchers - and parents - are preoccupied with the effect of TV shows designed for children or with the disturbing content of adult shows they watch, Anderson says, but this is the first research to examine the effects of background TV.

    The idea for the study, published in the July/August issue of the journal Child Development, occurred to him more than a decade ago when he was home with his one-year-old daughter and the TV was tuned to coverage of the 1993 massacre at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.

    "My daughter was just playing on the floor in front of the TV set and at some point it just occurred to me, 'Is this having any impact on her?'" he says. "If I thought she was paying attention to it I would have turned it off, which I think is typically what parents think about this situation."

    Anderson says he and his co-authors chose Jeopardy for their experiments because it's exactly the kind of show a parent might have on at home and contains no objectionable content or flashy elements that would draw a very young child's attention. But even Alex Trebek's staid quiz show includes the ever-changing images and sounds that make it impossible for young children - or adults - to tune out TV the way they can a repetitive distraction like a noisy air conditioner, he says.

    "The problem is that these days, many people have a TV in every room - there's a TV in the kitchen and there's a TV in the living room and there's a TV in the bedroom - and the tendency is to leave them on without thinking of it," says Chris Moore, a psychology professor specializing in children's social and cognitive development at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

    But before TV became common, people often had radios playing in the background while they went about their lives, he says, and it's too soon to say whether this atmospheric TV exposure will have any long-term effect on children.

    Previous research has shown that infants between 2.5 and 24 months old are exposed to an average of 120 minutes of TV a day, Anderson and his co-authors write, with half of that being programing aimed at adults or preteens.


    “Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53)

  3. #3
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default Affects of TV on Children

    TV Causes Learning Lag in Infants

    By Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer

    Even infants zone out in front of the television, and it turns out this translates into less time interacting with parents and possible lags in language development, a new study finds.

    "We've known that television exposure during infancy is associated with language delays and attentional problems, but so far it has remained unclear why," said lead researcher Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

    In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages television watching before the age of 2, a time when critical development, such as language acquisition, occurs. (Christakis said a baby's brain triples in size during the first two years of life, so there's a lot going on in that little noggin.)

    To figure out the TV-language link, Christakis and his colleagues rounded up 329 2-month to 4-year-old children and their parents. The kids wore digital devices on random days each month for up to two years that recorded everything they heard or said for 12 to 16 hours. The researchers didn't determine whether the adults and kids were actively watching the television or if it was just on in the background.

    Analyses of the recordings revealed that each hour of additional television exposure was linked with a decrease of 770 words (7 percent) the child heard from an adult during the recording session. Hours of television were also associated with a decrease in the number and length of child vocalizations and the back and forth between the child and an adult (called a conversational turn).

    "Some of these reductions are likely due to children being left alone in front of the television screen," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, "but others likely reflect situations in which adults, though present, are distracted by the screen and not interacting with their infant in a discernible manner."

    And interaction is key for baby's brain.

    "The reason it's concerning is because we know that hearing adults speak and being spoken to are critical exposures that play a role in infants development in language," Christakis told LiveScience.

    With 30 percent of households having televisions on all the time, the researchers wondered how many fewer opportunities there were for children and parents to communicate and socialize.

    "My recommendation first is that children under the age of 2 be discouraged from watching television," Christakis said. He added that even if the TV show is intended for the adults, the effect is the same for their children.

    (Four of the authors on the paper were employed by the LENA Foundation, which paid for the data collection and develops technology for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of language delays and disorders in children and adults.)


  4. #4
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default

    Watching TV: Even Worse for Kids Than You Think

    By ALICE PARK Alice Park– Aug 5, 2009


    It's no secret that sedentary behavior contributes to obesity and chronically poor health. But not all sedentary behaviors are created equal, according to a new study that examines the link between blood pressure in children and their choice of inactive pastimes, including watching TV, using the computer and reading.

    Researchers in the U.S. and Spain collaborated on the study of 111 children ages 3 to 8 and found that of all the forms of inactivity they examined, television-viewing was the worst. It was linked to significantly higher blood pressure in children - the more TV kids watched, the higher their blood pressure - and the effect held true regardless of whether a child was heavy or at a healthy weight. What's more, other sedentary behaviors, like using a computer, were not associated with similar blood-pressure hikes, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
    "These results show that sedentary behavior, and more specifically television-viewing, is related to blood pressure independent of body fat or obesity level," says Dr. Joey Eisenmann, a kinesiologist at Michigan State University and one of the study's co-authors.

    To determine levels of inactivity over one week, the children in the study wore accelerometers, which resemble pedometers but instead of tracking distance, they record the body's acceleration in a vertical plane - sitting results in a score of zero, and walking and running produce progressively higher scores. The researchers considered anything under a score of 50 per day as sedentary. They coupled this data with reports from the children's parents about how much time the kids spent in inactive pursuits, including watching television, sitting at a computer, playing video games, reading or doing other projects that don't require much movement.

    The children were sedentary for five hours each day, and 1.5 of those hours were spent in front of a TV, computer or video game, on average. When the researchers further broke down screen time by activity, TV-viewing had the strongest correlation with higher blood pressure. Kids watching from 90 to 330 minutes of television each day had systolic and diastolic blood-pressure readings (the two numbers that indicate pressure caused by blood pumping from the top and bottom chambers of the heart, respectively) that were five to seven points higher than those of children watching less than half an hour of television a day.

    "These results show that TV-viewing really is the worst of all possible sedentary activities," says Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital Boston, who was not part of the study. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 should not watch any television and that older children limit their viewing to one to two hours per day.

    So what is it about watching TV that's worse than playing video games or surfing the Internet? Certainly, playing games and using computers involve some movement, like fidgeting or changing body positions, but is that enough to explain the difference? The study's authors propose several other possible explanations. For instance, beyond the complete inactivity involved with TV-viewing - which alone raises the risk of high blood pressure - children may be compounding their sloth by eating junk food. "A full bag of chips or a plate of hot dogs can disappear a lot more quickly while watching TV than they might at any other occasion," says Ludwig. And the types of foods that children are likely to be eating in front of the tube, like salty snacks, can push up blood pressure readings.

    In addition, say the authors, if kids watch TV too close to bedtime, their minds may remain stimulated just enough to keep them awake and miss out on precious hours of sleep. Cutting short a good night's slumber, past research suggests, can lead to weight gain and hypertension, since the body's metabolism doesn't have enough opportunity to recharge and renew itself overnight.

    To those reasons, Ludwig adds a few others. Previous studies have found that watching television lulls people, especially young children, into a low-energy state that is akin to sleeping - that's about as sedentary as a person can get. "Some studies suggest that the metabolic rate can fall even below that of sleeping," he says. "They suggest that children are getting into some deep hypnotic state at times."

    Worse yet is the content of television programming, which Ludwig suggests may have long-lasting repercussions. "There is the possibility that the greatest long-term impact of TV viewing is on children's eating habits through food commercials," he says. Some experts estimate that youngsters are bombarded with 10,000 food commercials each year during children's programming, and most of them aren't promoting salads or fruit. All this marketing, says Ludwig, changes children's taste preferences and causes them to crave - and beg for - unhealthy foods. "Children are seeing these commercials at an age when they are just establishing eating habits that can become ingrained and last a lifetime," he says.

    Eisenmann stresses that while the new study found an association between TV-viewing and higher blood-pressure readings, it did not measure whether children developed hypertension. However, in previous studies involving the same group of children, whom he and the other scientists have been studying for four years, about 20% of the children had developed prehypertension or hypertension - often because of weight gain.
    Although the study did not follow the children over time, the findings still suggest that TV-viewing has a strong influence on the health of young children. Environmental and lifestyle factors, like diet and inactivity, account for about 70% of a person's blood pressure (genes determine the rest), and high blood pressure at a young age may increase kids' risk of developing heart disease in adulthood. "There is no fundamental biological need for TV-viewing in childhood," says Ludwig. "So these findings certainly warrant follow-up."


  5. #5
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default

    Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood - By Susan Linn.
    (New Press, 2004) - 288 pp. - http://www.amazon.com/Consuming-Kids-Hostile-Takeover-Childhood/dp/1565847830






    Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture - By Juliet Schor
    (Scribner, 2004) - 276 pp. - http://www.amazon.com/Born-Buy-Commercialized-Consumer-Culture/dp/0684870568/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281208652&sr=1-1





    Some videos about these topics:



    Marketing To Children - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExVvUY8AcmM
    Explains the rationale of marketers to manipulate children into nagging their parents to influence purchasing decisions.

    Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01d5nIoKgH8
    With virtually no government or public outcry, the multi-billion dollar youth marketing industry has been able to use the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. American kids now influence an estimated $700 billion in annual spending, targeted virtually from birth with a relentless bombardment of sophisticated commercial appeals designed to sell everything from Hollywood merchandise and junk foods to iPods, cell phones, the family car and vacations. The result is that childhood itself has been commercialized. Drawing on the insights of experts, industry insiders, and children themselves, Consuming Kids traces the evolution and impact of this disturbing and unprecedented phenomenon, exposing the youth marketing industry's controversial tactics and exploring the effect of hyper-consumerism on the actual lived experience of children.

    The Baby Einstein Controversy
    Susan Linn - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IwAQqmEz6k
    Full video at: http://fora.tv/2008/06/05/Susan_Linn_The_Case_for_Make_Believe
    Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Susan Linn talks about her FTC complaint filed against
    Disney's Baby Einstein as "false and deceptive marketing."

    Susan Linn - Harvard
    part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya84a82RkhU
    part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLJ3KODwB1Q
    part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfswCmWm3VI
    Susan Linn is the associate director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children's Center, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and director of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

  6. #6
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default

    Television could be hazardous to babies' growth

    Shannon Proudfoot - Canwest News Service - July 15, 2008

    A television chattering away in the background distracts children as young as 12 months - even if the TV is playing adult programs - and could represent "a significant environmental hazard" to their development, according to a study released Monday.

    Researchers studying children aged one to three found that when a TV was on and playing an episode of Jeopardy, the toddlers spent half as much time playing with a toy before moving onto another activity and three-quarters as much time in intense, focused play as they did when the TV was switched off.

    "It's all just play, but it's thought to be very important and essentially the child is programming their own brain with this kind of activity," says author Daniel Anderson, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts. "At the very least, parents should make sure children have plenty of quiet time for play."

    The long-term effects of TV distraction need to be studied further, he says, but interrupted play sessions could lead to attention and other problems.

    Most researchers - and parents - are preoccupied with the effect of TV shows designed for children or with the disturbing content of adult shows they watch, Anderson says, but this is the first research to examine the effects of background TV.

    The idea for the study, published in the July/August issue of the journal Child Development, occurred to him more than a decade ago when he was home with his one-year-old daughter and the TV was tuned to coverage of the 1993 massacre at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.

    "My daughter was just playing on the floor in front of the TV set and at some point it just occurred to me, 'Is this having any impact on her?'" he says. "If I thought she was paying attention to it I would have turned it off, which I think is typically what parents think about this situation."

    Anderson says he and his co-authors chose Jeopardy for their experiments because it's exactly the kind of show a parent might have on at home and contains no objectionable content or flashy elements that would draw a very young child's attention. But even Alex Trebek's staid quiz show includes the ever-changing images and sounds that make it impossible for young children - or adults - to tune out TV the way they can a repetitive distraction like a noisy air conditioner, he says.

    "The problem is that these days, many people have a TV in every room - there's a TV in the kitchen and there's a TV in the living room and there's a TV in the bedroom - and the tendency is to leave them on without thinking of it," says Chris Moore, a psychology professor specializing in children's social and cognitive development at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

    But before TV became common, people often had radios playing in the background while they went about their lives, he says, and it's too soon to say whether this atmospheric TV exposure will have any long-term effect on children.

    Previous research has shown that infants between 2.5 and 24 months old are exposed to an average of 120 minutes of TV a day, Anderson and his co-authors write, with half of that being programing aimed at adults or preteens.


  7. #7
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default

    Rethinking Schools

    A few years ago an incident occurred in my classroom that made me realize the extent to which commercialism had taken control of my 10-year-old students. I had an unexpected visitor—an Australian teacher-union official—and hadn't done any prep with my students. After observing my students doing a role play, the visitor asked them what they knew of Australia. I had expected a chorus of "kangaroos and koala bears," but instead, the most enthusiastic response came from a number of students who called out, "Foster beer! That's where Foster beer comes from."

    I was dumbfounded, not because the students showed a brazen lack of brand loyalty to the beers that made Milwaukee famous, but that they knew anything at all about Australian beer. "How do you know that?" I blurted out before my guest could even respond.

    "TV. Haven't you seen those really cool commercials?" one student explained, while several others nodded in agreement.

    This is just one small example of what Susan Linn calls the "hostile takeover of childhood" and what Juliet Schor describes as "corporate-constructed" childhood. Both writers have penned masterpieces that describe the juggernaut of corporate and media influences that are redefining childhood to serve corporate profit.

    The two books, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture by Schor and Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood by Linn, are so stuffed with data and facts that they might convince some people to pack up their kids and move to the Northwoods without a television—or to Sweden, which, Schor explains, has banned advertising directed at children under 12 years old.

    Both books are "must-reads" for teachers, parents, media reform advocates, and policymakers. Either one would make a wonderful holiday gift for a friend or relative who struggles daily to limit their children's consumption of media.

    Schor, an expert on consumerism and economics who teaches at Boston College, has conducted her own research and draws on a myriad of other studies to demonstrate that children are indeed "born to buy" in the United States. She looks at the problem from several vantage points, with chapters on the history of children's consumption, the content of commercial messages, the omnipresence of advertising, the commercialization of public schools, corporate research, and the impact of advertising on children's health and well being. She concludes with a chapter that explores how we as a society might start de-commercializing childhood.

    Linn, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is co-founder of the coalition Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children and was recently featured in the popular documentary The Corporation. Linn starts off describing her experience of spending 36 hours at the fifth annual Advertising and Promoting to Kids Conference and then covers much of the same ground as Schor. Linn has a whole chapter on what is called the "Nag Factor" by marketing researchers. According to Linn, advertisers spent $15 billion last year getting kids to nag their parents to buy products—including "adult" products like cars. Linn titles one chapter "From Barbie and Ken to Britney, the Bratz, and Beyond: Sex as a Commodity" where she relates the statistic that 64 percent of the sexually active teens name the media—not parents, friends, or teachers—as their source of information on sex.

    Linn also goes after the alcohol and tobacco industries, pointing out that in 2001, alcohol companies spent more than $31 million for ads during 13 of the 15 most popular shows among kids ages 12 to 17, including Friends and That Seventies Show.

    Schor and Linn both convincingly argue that things are qualitatively different than just a few decades ago. The purchasing power of young people has exploded, and the amount of money corporations spend on advertising directed at children annually is $15 billion compared to a mere $100 million in television advertising spent in 1983. The impact is noticeable. Kids spend most of their non-school/non-sleep time watching TV, playing video games, and shopping. As Schor writes, "marketed leisure has replaced unstructured socializing, and most of what kids do revolves around commodities."

    In addition to increased disposable income and advertising money directed at children, another more subtle change has occurred: Lines between childhood and adulthood have blurred. Today's children have earlier and more frequent exposure to the adult world—from the sexually explicit antics of MTV performers to the sexual innuendoes in car commercials and most sitcoms. Media assumptions that "kids are getting older younger" has pushed violent and sexual media content down to younger and younger children.

    According to Schor, "Kids can recognize logos by 18 months, and before their second birthday, they're asking for products by brand names. By three or three-and-a-half, experts say, children start to believe that brands communicate their personal qualities, for example that they're cool, or strong, or smart . . . Upon arrival at the schoolhouse steps, the typical first grader can evoke 200 brands."

    There are also the inside stories. Both Linn and Schor have managed to attend marketing conferences and have had very frank conversations with marketing experts. What they have to share can be described as nothing less than frightening. A vice-president of marketing at Nickelodeon stated, "Product preferences develop at a much earlier age than anyone had ever thought. . . . As people begin to understand this, to see how brand loyalty transfers to adulthood, there is almost nothing that won't be advertised for children."

    A former food marketer told Schor, "I think there are some [products] out there that are downright offensive and disgusting, that just offend me with what pure unadulterated, unapologetic crap they are. But we have products to sell and money to be made and there's definitely a market for these things."

    What Can We Do?

    Both Schor and Linn admit that changing the current crush of commercialism will be difficult. Schor acknowledges that "global corporations may continue as the primary architects of children's futures." But, she hastens to add, "a different future is possible too." She says, "Parents and children might come together to recapture childhood from the global giants and put in place a culture that is captivating, healthy, and empowering."

    Linn cautions that while "media literacy" is "essential to functioning in the modern world," it's far from a solution to "marketplace manipulation." She believes a focus on media literacy "places the onus for protecting children on parents, teachers, and children themselves" and lets the marketing experts "off the hook."

    Specific regulatory proposals by both Linn and Schor deserve support from individual teachers, parents, and policymakers, but even more importantly from parent organizations, teacher unions, and religious and community organizations.

    The media reform movement that has gained currency in recent years would do well to see the protection of children as a way to build broad support for reforms that ultimately need to be made to protect everyone. It's hard to say whether such reforms are possible. It's important to acknowledge that it is not just a problem of "market manipulators" or "marketing experts." Economic life in our society is built around the market's quest to achieve the highest rate of profit possible. Because corporate control of childhood is an inherent impulse in this system, organizations need to build that awareness into their organizing. These two books are essential resources that will strengthen efforts to protect children from commercial exploitation.

    Bob Peterson (repmilw@aol.com) is a Rethinking Schools editor and teaches fifth grade at La Escuela Fratney in Milwaukee. Winter 2004/2005
    Campaign for Commercial-free Childhood

    A lot of information about the current commercials directed towards children. - http://www.commercialexploitation.com/

    Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood - By Susan Linn
    - http://www.amazon.com/Consuming-Kids-Hostile-Takeover-Childhood/dp/1565847830

    Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture - By Juliet Schor
    - http://www.amazon.com/Born-Buy-Commercialized-Consumer-Culture/dp/0684870568/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281208652&sr=1-1

  8. #8
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default

    Too Much TV and Too Little Intelligence

    Emdad Rahman*

    It is an accepted fact that the media often has an overwhelming influence on family life. The argument is that the media educates people, but do we know what our children are being exposed to?

    According to research by the American Academy of Pediatrics, if your children watch three to four hours of non-educational TV per day, they will have witnessed approximately 8,000 murders on TV by the time they leave school. Further studies by the academy show that TV affects how your children learn. High quality, non-violent children's shows can have a positive effect on learning.

    Studies also show that preschool-aged children who watch educational TV programs do better on reading and math tests than children who do not watch those kinds of programs. So, when used carefully, TV can be a positive tool of a child's education.


    • 99% of American families have TV sets.
    • 28% of children's TV shows contain four or more acts of violence.
    • 1 in 5 "educational" programs have no educational value.
    • 44% of children and teenagers watch different programs when their parents are not around.
    • All new TV sets since 2000 have V-chips that parents can program to filter out objectionable programs.

    Sources: MediaWise, KCTS

    Thomas Robinson, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, argued that "a TV in a child's bedroom has become the norm. From the parent's perspective, it keeps kids amused and out of trouble; but with the arrangement, parents give up any control of how much and what their children watch."

    It is noticeable how many Hollywood parents now claim to be bringing up their children without TV. Hollywood icon Tom Cruise, a man revered throughout the world, has banned his children from watching TV or playing computer games so that they can learn the importance of work.

    The Mission Impossible star has two children — Isabella, 13, and Connor, 11. Cruise told Evening Echo, an Irish newspaper, "The kids have no computer games, and absolutely no TV — none. They can listen to music and read just about any book they want, and they can choose the movies they want to see on the weekends, within reason. They also have chores, because I want them to know that it's important to work. I had a job when I was eight years old delivering newspapers."

    Educative or Negative Impact

    The question that now arises is whether TV affects child intelligence. The study "Association of TV Viewing During Childhood With Poor Educational Achievement" was published in a 2005 issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and was the first to have followed a group of children into adulthood. Researchers scrutinized 1,037 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand. Every two years, between the ages of 5 and 15, they were asked how much TV they had watched. The researchers found that those who watched the most TV during those years had earned fewer qualifications by the time they were aged 26.

    "We found that the more TV the child had watched, the more likely they were to leave school without any qualifications. Those who watched little TV had the best chance of going onto university and earning a degree," said Dr. Bob Hancox, deputy director of the Dunedin Research Unit in New Zealand.

    "An interesting find was that although teenage viewings were strongly linked to leaving school without qualifications, it was earlier childhood viewing that had the greatest impact on university educational prospects. This suggests that excessive TV in younger children has a long-lasting adverse effect on educational performance," said Hancox.

    "Other studies have conflicting findings on the association between education and TV viewing. While some have suggested that there may be adverse effects, other findings suggest that TV programs might improve learning. Few of these studies have been able to adjust for intelligence and social factors, and none have followed a group of children into adulthood," Hancox commented.

    "These findings suggest that reduced TV viewing could improve the education of New Zealand's children. Parents, communities, and society should work together to reduce children's viewing hours. Programmers might give some thought to the low educational value of most children's programs," Hancox concluded.

    Nurturing Violence

    The Parents Television Council (PTC) set out to discover exactly what young children are seeing on programming specifically designed for them. The special report " TV Bloodbath: Violence on Prime Time Broadcast TV" chose to focus on entertainment programming on broadcast television and expanded basic cable for school-aged children 5-10 years old.

    PTC focused its analysis on before-school, after-school, and Saturday morning programming. The analysis covered a three-week period during the summer of 2005 for a total of 443.5 hours of children's programming.

    There is more violence during children's programming than during adult programming on TV today
    The results of the analysis were staggering. In the 443.5 hours of children's programming analyzed by the PTC, there were 3,488 instances of violence — an average of 7.86 violent incidents per hour.

    Even when the innocent cartoon violence most of us grew up with (e.g., an anvil falling on Wile E. Coyote's head) was extracted, there were still 2,794 instances of violence for an average of 6.3 violent incidents per hour. To put this figure in perspective, consider that in 2002, the six major broadcast networks combined averaged only 4.71 instances of violence per hour of prime-time programming. Thus, there is more violence during children's programming than during adult programming on TV today.

    Not Just Violence

    But it is not only violence that is present in today's programming for children. Sexual innuendo is also very much present alongside adult language, such as trash talking, bullying, and showing disrespect. In an analysis of children's television, the PTC also found the following results:

    858 incidents of verbal aggression (abusive yelling, mean-spirited insults, and put-downs) with an average of 1.93 instances per hour.

    250 incidents of offensive language (such as excretory references or euphemisms for obscene language) with an average of 0.56 instances per hour.

    595 incidents of disruptive, disrespectful, or otherwise problematic attitudes and behaviors for an average of 0.62 instances per hour.

    A look at the individual networks turned up the following:

    The ABC Family Channel turned out to have a higher number of 318 instances of violence (only 11 of these were considered "cartoon" violence) for an average of 10.96 violent incidents per episode. The Disney Channel had the least violence with 0.95 incidences per episode.

    Warner Brothers had the highest level of offensive language, verbal abuse, sexual content, and offensive or excretory references.

    University of Michigan psychologists Leonard Eron and Rowell Huesmann conducted studies in which they monitored the viewing habits of a group of children for several decades. They found that watching violence on television is the single factor most closely associated with aggressive behavior, more than poverty, race, or parental behavior.

    In 1960, Eron embarked on a landmark longitudinal study of over 800 8-year olds. He found that children who watched many hours of violent television tended to be more aggressive in the playground and the classroom.

    Eron and Huesmann checked back with these students 11 and 22 years later. They found that the aggressive 8-year-olds grew up to be even more aggressive at 19 and 30 years of age.They had problems with domestic violence and had many traffic tickets than their less aggressive counterparts who did not watch as much television. The researchers found that even children who were not aggressive at the age of 8 but who had watched substantial amounts of violent programming would be more aggressive by the time they reached 19 years of age than their peers who did not watch violent TV.

    Unsupervised TV also creates the risk of promoting adult behaviors such as sex. On TV, sexual activity is shown as normal, fun, exciting, and an act that has no consequences. In commercials, sex is often used to sell products and services. Your children may copy what they see on TV to feel more grown up.

    A number of organizations, including the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatricians, have expressed concern about the impact of television and other media on children. Despite these concerns, children continue to be heavy consumers of TV.

    Sources: Parent Guide for Don't Buy It!
    ________________
    *Emdad Rahman is an education social worker and a school governor in the United Kingdom. He is an active writer, freelance journalist, and news editor for The Bangla Mirror as well as an editorial assistant for the London Muslim. Rahman is on the management team of Amani Foundation, a charity that works with women and children. He also teaches children at a cultural school. Married with three children, in his spare time, Rahman is a running enthusiast and often runs in marathons to raise money for the Amani Foundation.

    Violence 101: Violent Messages in Our Homes

    http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/volunteers/2005/07/01.shtml

  9. #9
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,291

    Default

    It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies


    Article published on 27 August 2016 @ New York Post
    By Dr. Nicholas Kardaras


    Susan* bought her 6-year-old son John an iPad when he was in first grade. “I thought, ‘Why not let him get a jump on things?’ ” she told me during a therapy session. John’s school had begun using the devices with younger and younger grades — and his technology teacher had raved about their educational benefits — so Susan wanted to do what was best for her sandy-haired boy who loved reading and playing baseball.

    She started letting John play different educational games on his iPad. Eventually, he discovered Minecraft, which the technology teacher assured her was “just like electronic Lego.” Remembering how much fun she had as a child building and playing with the interlocking plastic blocks, Susan let her son Minecraft his afternoons away.

    At first, Susan was quite pleased. John seemed engaged in creative play as he explored the cube-world of the game. She did notice that the game wasn’t quite like the Legos that she remembered — after all, she didn’t have to kill animals and find rare minerals to survive and get to the next level with her beloved old game. But John did seem to really like playing and the school even had a Minecraft club, so how bad could it be?

    Still, Susan couldn’t deny she was seeing changes in John. He started getting more and more focused on his game and losing interest in baseball and reading while refusing to do his chores. Some mornings he would wake up and tell her that he could see the cube shapes in his dreams.

    Although that concerned her, she thought her son might just be exhibiting an active imagination. As his behavior continued to deteriorate, she tried to take the game away but John threw temper tantrums. His outbursts were so severe that she gave in, still rationalizing to herself over and over again that “it’s educational.”

    Then, one night, she realized that something was seriously wrong.

    “I walked into his room to check on him. He was supposed to be sleeping — and I was just so frightened…”

    She found him sitting up in his bed staring wide-eyed, his bloodshot eyes looking into the distance as his glowing iPad lay next to him. He seemed to be in a trance. Beside herself with panic, Susan had to shake the boy repeatedly to snap him out of it. Distraught, she could not understand how her once-healthy and happy little boy had become so addicted to the game that he wound up in a catatonic stupor.

    There’s a reason that the most tech-cautious parents are tech designers and engineers. Steve Jobs was a notoriously low-tech parent. Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to no-tech Montessori Schools, as did Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

    Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.

    But it’s even worse than we think.

    We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic — as much as sex.

    This addictive effect is why Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, calls screens “electronic cocaine” and Chinese researchers call them “digital heroin.” In fact, Dr. Andrew Doan, the head of addiction research for the Pentagon and the US Navy — who has been researching video game addiction — calls video games and screen technologies “digital pharmakeia” (Greek for drug).

    That’s right — your kid’s brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs. No wonder we have a hard time peeling kids from their screens and find our little ones agitated when their screen time is interrupted. In addition, hundreds of clinical studies show that screens increase depression, anxiety and aggression and can even lead to psychotic-like features where the video gamer loses touch with reality.

    In my clinical work with over 1,000 teens over the past 15 years, I have found the old axiom of “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to be especially true when it comes to tech addiction. Once a kid has crossed the line into true tech addiction, treatment can be very difficult. Indeed, I have found it easier to treat heroin and crystal meth addicts than lost-in-the-matrix video gamers or Facebook-dependent social media addicts.

    According to a 2013 Policy Statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 8- to 10 year-olds spend 8 hours a day with various digital media while teenagers spend 11 hours in front of screens. One in three kids are using tablets or smartphones before they can talk. Meanwhile, the handbook of “Internet Addiction” by Dr. Kimberly Young states that 18 percent of college-age internet users in the US suffer from tech addiction.

    Once a person crosses over the line into full-blown addiction — drug, digital or otherwise — they need to detox before any other kind of therapy can have any chance of being effective. With tech, that means a full digital detox — no computers, no smartphones, no tablets. The extreme digital detox even eliminates television. The prescribed amount of time is four to six weeks; that’s the amount of time that is usually required for a hyper-aroused nervous system to reset itself. But that’s no easy task in our current tech-filled society where screens are ubiquitous. A person can live without drugs or alcohol; with tech addiction, digital temptations are everywhere.

    So how do we keep our children from crossing this line? It’s not easy.

    The key is to prevent your 4-, 5- or 8-year-old from getting hooked on screens to begin with. That means Lego instead of Minecraft; books instead of iPads; nature and sports instead of TV. If you have to, demand that your child’s school not give them a tablet or Chromebook until they are at least 10 years old (others recommend 12).

    Have honest discussions with your child about why you are limiting their screen access. Eat dinner with your children without any electronic devices at the table — just as Steve Jobs used to have tech-free dinners with his kids. Don’t fall victim to “Distracted Parent Syndrome” — as we know from Social Learning Theory, “Monkey see, monkey do.”

    When I speak to my 9-year-old twin boys, I have honest conversations with them about why we don’t want them having tablets or playing video games. I explain to them that some kids like playing with their devices so much, they have a hard time stopping or controlling how much they play. I’ve helped them to understand that if they get caught up with screens and Minecraft like some of their friends have, other parts of their lives may suffer: They may not want to play baseball as much; not read books as often; be less interested in science and nature projects; become more disconnected from their real-world friends. Amazingly, they don’t need much convincing as they’ve seen first-hand the changes that some of their little friends have undergone as a result of their excessive screen time.

    Developmental psychologists understand that children’s healthy development involves social interaction, creative imaginative play and an engagement with the real, natural world. Unfortunately, the immersive and addictive world of screens dampens and stunts those developmental processes.

    We also know that kids are more prone to addictive escape if they feel alone, alienated, purposeless and bored. Thus the solution is often to help kids to connect to meaningful real-life experiences and flesh-and-blood relationships. The engaged child tethered to creative activities and connected to his or her family is less likely to escape into the digital fantasy world. Yet even if a child has the best and most loving support, he or she could fall into the Matrix once they engage with hypnotic screens and experience their addicting effect. After all, about one in 10 people are predisposed towards addictive tendencies.

    In the end, my client Susan removed John’s tablet, but recovery was an uphill battle with many bumps and setbacks along the way.

    Four years later, after much support and reinforcement, John is doing much better today. He has learned to use a desktop computer in a healthier way, and has gotten some sense of balance back in his life: He’s playing on a baseball team and has several close friends in his middle school. But his mother is still vigilant and remains a positive and proactive force with his tech usage because, as with any addiction, relapse can sneak up in moments of weakness. Making sure that he has healthy outlets, no computer in his bedroom and a nightly tech-free dinner at the dinner table are all part of the solution.


    *Patients’ names have been changed.

    Dr. Nicholas Kardaras is executive director of The Dunes East Hampton, one of the country’s top rehabs and a former clinical professor at Stony Brook Medicine. His book “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids — and How to Break the Trance” (St. Martin’s) is out now.


 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •