Child health in the information age: Media education of pediatricians

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 02/2001; 107(1):156-62. DOI: 10.1542/peds.107.1.156
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Substantial research has associated exposure to entertainment media with increased levels of interpersonal violence, risky sexual behavior, body image distortion, substance abuse, and obesity. The objective of this study was to determine what pediatric residency programs are teaching trainees about media and the influence of media on the physical and mental health of children and adolescents.
Survey of residency curricula, consisting of 17 items about children's exposure to media, including television, movies, popular music, computer/video games and the Internet, the effects of this exposure on specific health risks, and associations between program characteristics and media education in the residency curriculum. Participants. Directors of the 209 accredited pediatric residency programs in the United States.
Two hundred four programs (97.6%) responded. Fifty-eight programs (28.4%) offered formal education on 1 or more types of media; 60 programs (29.4%) discussed the influences of media when teaching about specific health conditions. Residents in 96 programs (47.1%) were encouraged to discuss media use with patients and parents; 13 programs (6.4%) taught media literacy as an intervention. Among program characteristics, only media training received by program directors was significantly associated with inclusion of media in residency curricula.
Despite increasing awareness of media influence on child health, less than one-third of US pediatric residency programs teach about media exposure. Developing a pediatric media curriculum and training pediatric residency directors or designated faculty may be a resource-effective means of improving health for children growing up in a media-saturated environment.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The media arguably have become the leading sex educator for American children and adolescents. More than 80% of the top teen shows contain sexual content, and the average teen views nearly 14,000 sexual references on television alone. The gap between suggestive and responsible content on primetime television is narrowing, but only slowly. Parents and teachers need to recognize the power of the media to educate and begin incorporating principles of media literacy into existing sex education programs.
    Adolescent Medicine Clinics 07/2005; 16(2):269-88, vii. DOI:10.1016/j.admecli.2005.02.009
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The benefits associated with an active lifestyle demands a special attention when we speak about children and youth because of their impact in both short- and long-term effects. Therefore, physical activity becomes a key issue for the social and health policies of the different public administrations. If we take into consideration the concern that physical activity arouses among Spanish adolescents, we add the increasing use of screen media devices teenagers are experiencing and which could decrease or determine their daily physical activity. This PhD dissertation is an epidemiologic-based research on a sample of 2983 students of Secondary School Education and Sixth Form (12- to 18- years old). Self-report questionnaires were administered in order to measure the patterns of physical activity and sedentary screen media usage (television, computer and videogames). In this sense, differences biased by the sociodemographical variables sex, grade and socioeconomical status and the type of the day of the week were purposes of this study. Another aim was to find evidence about whether the behaviours could be explained by the displacement hypothesis mechanism. The results show that Spanish adolescents, in general terms, spend an average of 54 minutes per day doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, accomplishing the current physical activity guidelines only the 37% of the sample (60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily). Analyses of variance indicated that boys are more active than girls, physical activity diminishes as youth get older and youth with higher socioeconomic status are more active than those with lower socioeconomic status. Regarding the use of screen time devices, adolescents spend an average of 3 hours per day viewing TV, using computer and videogames. Of the total sample, only the 27.2% of adolescents accomplish with the current sedentary guidelines (<2 hours/day). While there are not differences by sex in TV viewing or computer use, boys engage more in videogames than girls. Regarding the grade, the adolescents who spend greater amounts of time using the screen media devices are those who study Years 10 and 11 (aged between 14 and 15 years old). Furthermore, the results revealed that adolescents with lower socioeconomic status watch more TV and use less the computer than those with higher socioeconomic status. The results by type of the day show that youth spend more time engaged in television, computer and videogames (from 141 to 224 minutes) and less time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (from 45 to 36 minutes) during weekends. On the other hand, positive and negative associations were observed between both behaviours (physical activity and sedentary screen media usage). However, the magnitudes of these associations are not strong enough to state that these behaviours can be explained by the replacement hypothesis mechanism. Therefore, the results of this study show inconsistency in front of this theory. In view of our results, further studies are needed to investigate these issues in depth. Similarly, there is a clear need for public awareness about the lack of strategies and promotion policies that address the needs identified in this study in order to deal with the low levels of physical activity and the increasing use of technological screen media that adolescents are experiencing nowadays.
    06/2013, Degree: Sports and Physical Education PhD, Supervisor: José Devís-Devís, Carmen Peiró-Velert
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to evaluate awareness of, agreement with, and implementation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) media use guidelines among pediatricians. Pediatricians' beliefs about several media effects were also measured, as was their own media use. Pediatricians were also asked about how often they make media recommendations as part of anticipatory guidance during well-child visits, as well as the perceived efficacy of and barriers to making such recommendations. A cross-sectional survey mailed to all members of the Minnesota chapter of the AAP. A total of 365 pediatricians completed the survey. The 58-item survey assessed familiarity with, agreement with, and implementation of each of 3 AAP recommendations, to limit children's media time, to discourage television (TV) viewing among children <2 years of age, and to encourage alternative entertainment for children. Pediatricians were also asked about the perceived effectiveness of and barriers to guideline implementation. In addition, pediatricians were asked to report their own TV viewing habits and their opinions about how much media affect children's health and behavior. Most pediatricians were familiar with and also agreed with the 3 AAP recommendations. Their agreement may stem from the fact that pediatricians almost universally believe that children's media use negatively affects children in many different areas, including children's aggressive behavior, eating habits, physical activity levels, risk for obesity, high-risk behaviors, and school performance. Pediatricians were most likely to have encouraged alternative entertainment and were least likely to have discouraged TV viewing for children <2 years of age. The majority of pediatricians provided all 3 recommendations to parents at least sometimes. Most pediatricians reported that their recommendations were at least a little effective when they did make them. The most frequent barrier pediatricians reported facing was a lack of parental motivation or support for the recommendations, with approximately one-third of pediatricians also citing a lack of time and a sense of futility in affecting patients' media habits as barriers. Finally, pediatricians who watched the greatest amounts of TV were significantly more likely than those who watched less to think that the AAP recommendation to limit children's total media time to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day is unrealistic, whereas those who watched less were more likely to agree with the recommendation. Results suggest that the efforts of the AAP in reaching pediatricians have been largely successful, with the majority of pediatricians in Minnesota being aware of and agreeing with the 3 major recommendations suggested by the AAP policy statement on children, adolescents, and television. However, implementation of the recommendations could be improved, especially because pediatricians usually think that the recommendations are at least a little effective when made. Strategies for overcoming barriers to making recommendations need to be addressed, including the sense of futility in affecting media use that some pediatricians may feel.
    PEDIATRICS 12/2004; 114(5):1235-41. DOI:10.1542/peds.2003-1121-L · 5.30 Impact Factor