Powerpoint on what the research says about TV viewing and young

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TV? Helpful or harmful?
Rachel Barr and Elizabeth Zack
Georgetown University
AAP Recommendation
• Children under age 2 should watch NO
screen media. 1999.
• It decreases the quality and quantity of
parent-child interactions.
• This recommendation was made without
almost no research behind it.
• Since 1999, more research has been done
but there’s still a lot we don’t know.
Since 1999, “explosion” in media
for young children
• Videos like Baby Mozart, Baby Einstein
claim to increase cognitive learning/brain
development and intelligent.
• There is no credible evidence proving this.
As a matter of fact…………..
• In adults, 17 different
regions of the
cerebral cortex are
activated to make
sense of “edited
video.” These
regions must work
together.
• This part of the brain
is immature until after
age 2. They can’t
make sense of it.
• They aren’t able to
process the
information they see.
They may laugh and stare at TV.
• But, children under age 2 don’t use it to
guide a search for hidden toys – the
information is meaningless to them.
• Toddlers pay no more attention to normal
video vs. distorted video until after 18
months. Only then does it matter to them
that it makes sense.
Now for the really bad news…
Parents are not following the
recommendation.
• 68% use some form of screen media 1-2
hours every day – most spend watching
TV or videos/DVD’s.
• 40% is child-directed programming – the
rest of the time, the TV is on in the
background.
• Parents are being bombarded with TV and
video marketing itself as “child-friendly.”
So why is it dangerous?
• Viewing under age 2 does appear to be
associated with attention deficit symptoms
and poorer language and cognitive
development.
• Background adult TV interferes with
normal play and social interaction.
How to minimize negative effects?
• Researchers looked at what good booksharing studies found.
• Parents need to provide the structure by:
– Labeling and describing real world objects
– Asking questions
– Using abstractions such as “This is your
favorite sound. That looks like your ball.”
What did the research show?
• When parents used these techniques,
children stayed attentive 70% of the time
on average.
• They watched the most if they had seen it
before (repetition).
• They watched the least if background
noise was on.
Making Sense of the Research for
parents
• If babies are viewing, strongly urge them to limit
the time.
• Choose the content carefully. No adult
programming and child-directed programming
that is research-based. (Baby Mozart and Kids
Favorites 2 all were ranked highly by the
researcher).
• Watch with your baby. Ask questions, describe
and label and relate the content to your baby’s
life.
More Tips for Parents
• Don’t discourage your baby from wanting
to watch the same thing over and over.
Repetition increases attention and, maybe,
understanding.
• Help your baby make connections
between the 2-dimension object on TV
and the real world. Find similar objects to
label and play games with.
• Don’t let TV replace active play.
Another study looked at how
communication skills are
affected when parents use
specific strategies with children
during TV viewing.
Sekhar S. Pindiprolu, Ph.D.
U.S. Dept. of Education
Parents were taught four specific
strategies to facilitate language.
•
•
•
•
Praise
Expansions
Pause
Questions
The results indicate:
• Children had limited receptive vocabulary
gains.
• They increased their raw score on
expressive vocabulary measures.
• They increased in turn taking.
• This small group of children were not
harmed by TV viewing when the strategies
were in place.
In a nutshell….
• Parents with children under 2 need to
know that the research suggests that it
could be harmful due to the stage of brain
development the child is in.
• Parents with children over 2 need to
understand that they can minimize any
negative results by labeling, using
abstractions and asking questions – by
talking about what they see!
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