Journal of Children and Media

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1748-2798
TV Viewing X Reactance Interaction on Alcohol Beliefs 
Regression Results for Alcohol Beliefs and Drinking Intentions Unstandardized Regression Coefficients (Standard Errors) 
Cultivation research has shown that heavy television viewing is linked to audiences' generalized, and often skewed, views of reality. This research investigates whether television viewing is related to adolescents' views about the consequences of drinking and whether psychological trait reactance moderates this cultivation effect. Results from a survey of 445 American teenagers show that cumulative exposure to television is linked to reduced beliefs about alcohol's negative consequences and greater intentions to drink. These effects were greater for adolescents low on trait reactance. This research adds to the general psychological research on trait reactance as a moderator of media influences and makes a substantive contribution towards furthering our understanding of the media and public health concerns that surround risky adolescent behaviors.
There has been rising international concern over media use with children under two. As little is known about the factors associated with more or less viewing among very young children, this study examines maternal factors predictive of TV/video viewing rates among American infants and toddlers. Guided by the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction, this survey study examines relationships between children's rates of TV/video viewing and their mothers' structural life circumstances (e.g., number of children in the home; mother's screen use), and cognitions (e.g., attitudes; norms). Results suggest that mothers' structural circumstances and cognitions respectively contribute independent explanatory power to the prediction of children's TV/video viewing. Influence of structural circumstances is partially mediated through cognitions. Mothers' attitudes as well as their own TV/video viewing behavior were particularly predictive of children's viewing. Implications of these findings for international efforts to understand and reduce infant/toddler TV/video exposure are discussed.
The paper first provides some examples of how the media tend to neglect children as sources and resources and goes on to describe how briefly about how children have proved themselves eminently capable of both producing and critiquing media. And, finally, it will raise some questions about appropriate approaches to dealing with the problem.
Extract: Video games are big business. Grand Theft Auto IV had sales of US4500 million in its first week (Canning, 2008b) and Halo 3 earned US$170 million for Microsoft in its opening day sales (Casey, 2007). In 2007, the Brisbane Times reported the release of videogame Halo 3 with the headline, "Online bloodbath as half a billion killed" as 1,441,353 played Halo 3 in its first 24 hours (Casey, 2007). Reviewing Halo 3 for the New York Times, Herold (2007) reinforced the centrality of the violence: "the story of Halo 3 is the same as that of Halo 2 and the original Halo: a lot of things get in your way and you kill them ... The game's pleasures lie in the things you kill and how you do it ... Weapons include shotguns, sniper rifles, flame throwers and a giant sledgehammer that slices most monsters in half with a single blow if you can just get close enough". Herold continued by purporting that consumers are conditioned by the industry to accept or even demand video game violence: "Halo 3 is not just a game: it is a phenomenon fueled by obsessed fans, slick advertising and excessive press coverage".
Internet skills of 11-to 16-year-old internet users in Europe (see also Sonck et al., 2012)
Internet skills and experience by online risk and harm, 11-to 16-year-old European internet users
Multilevel analysis of 11-to 16-year-olds encountering online risks and being harmed, controlled for European country differences (beta's)
Not all children who use the internet will experience harm from the online risks they encounter. One of the factors that might moderate the relationship between risk and harm is children's internet skills. As there has been little research on this topic, this article examines the influence of internet skills on the prevalence of online risks and the degree to which 11- to 16-year-olds experience being harmed by these risks, using data from the EU Kids Online project. The findings suggest that, whilst older children (aged 13–16) are exposed to more online risks, younger children (11–12) report more often being harmed by these risks. After controlling for differences between children due to demographics and internet experience, as well as country differences (using multilevel analysis), the findings reveal that children with more self-reported internet skills experience more risks online. Such skills do not seem to contribute much to differences in being harmed by online risks.
There has been a recent increase in television programming that aims to provide realistic portrayals of adolescent life in an effort to both entertain and educate adolescent viewers. Research on this entertainment-education programming has examined the effects on adolescent viewers; however, it has not considered the relationship between parent viewing of such programming and their perceived knowledge about adolescent life. Further, it is possible that parent viewing of entertainment-education programming can relate to parental efficacy indirectly via their perceived knowledge about adolescent life. We test these relationships using data from 1,880 parent viewers and non-viewers (adolescent children ages 13–17) of the series 13 Reasons Why sampled from Brazil, Australia/New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Results suggest an indirect relationship between parent viewership of the series and parental efficacy, via parental perceived knowledge, among parents who viewed the entire first season in comparison to those who only viewed some episodes. There were direct relationships between viewing and parental efficacy when comparing those who viewed all episodes to non-viewing parents. These findings suggest that entertainment-education programming may relate to positive outcomes among parents, with implications for the family ecology. Impact Summary: The genre of entertainment-education programming (EE) includes programs that provide realistic portrayals of adolescent life including portrayals of sensitive topics. Prior examinations of adolescent-directed EE consider effects on adolescent viewers but do not consider the effect on parent viewers. Results suggest an indirect relationship between parent viewership of the Netflix produced series, 13 Reasons Why, and parental efficacy, via parental perceived knowledge. These findings occur among parents who viewed the entire first season of the series in four global regions. These findings suggest that EE programming may relate to positive outcomes among parent viewers and have larger implications for the family ecology by bolstering parental efficacy and perceived knowledge about adolescent life.
The popular Netflix show 13 Reasons Why graphically depicts the story of a teenager who commits suicide. As media and fictional portrayals of suicide are known to influence suicidal behaviors, professional organizations expressed concern that the show would lead to a spike in suicidality among its viewers. We wished to understand the context to any documented references to 13 Reasons Why among pediatric patients in a large healthcare system. We searched all clinical documentation for patients under 18 for the terms “13 (or Thirteen) Reasons Why” for the six months surroundings the show’s release, recording demographics, location, and clinical context for each reference. This search yielded 63 separate clinical notes of 31 unique patients where 13 Reasons Why was explicitly documented. All but one reference took place during an encounter related primarily to the patient’s mental health, with most patients making these references during an encounter related to suicide (71%; 22). The most common context of the reference (55%; 17) was the patient or guardian reporting that the show contributed to their worsening mental health symptoms. Analysis of references to 13 Reasons Why among pediatric patients in our health system raises concerns about the show’s potential impact on vulnerable youth.
Jump to sectionAbstractNotes on contributorDisclosure statementAbstractAs the types of media activities and devices available to youth have multiplied, it has become increasingly challenging to measure the amount of time young people spend with media. But although it is difficult to do so, it is still possible, and even though the methods we have are imperfect, they still offer valuable information. Detailed measures of time spent with media can offer insights into what “screen time” consists of for young people today. The commentary offers examples from data collected for the non-profit organization Common Sense through a nationally representative, probability-based survey of 2,658 8- to 18-year-olds in the US in 2015. The data challenge several commonly held assumptions, and confirm others. The commentary includes findings concerning young people’s engagement in media activities such as watching TV and online videos, playing video, mobile and computer games, using social media, reading, listening to music, and using computers, tablets, and smartphones to access the internet.
The results of independent t-test according to gender variable.
Places of internet use.
This study was conducted to investigate Internet and social networks use habits and online risks of children and adolescents between the ages of 10–19 in the Kyrgyz Republic. Data were collected using questionnaires in several government schools in Bishkek during Spring 2018. Totally 316 children participated in this study. The study employed quantitative methods for the analysis of data. As results showed, there are gender differences in using the Internet. That is, Kyrgyz boys use the Internet for watching videos, and playing games more than Kyrgyz girls. Majority of the participants indicated that they preferred to use the Internet every day mostly from their private bedrooms of homes. Furthermore, a negative linear relationship was found between age and Internet usage. This implies that as the age of children increases, Internet usage decreases. Results also demonstrated that most frequent applications used are WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. While using the Internet and social networks, most of the participants indicated that they are using smartphones. While participants have basic knowledge about using the Internet, most of them lack specific capabilities. Finally, the study revealed the Kyrgyz parents’ attitudes and perceptions related to the Internet and social networks use of children and adolescents.
b. Alternative Child Influence Model including age and gender as effect moderators 
This study examines joint influences of parental socialization and socialization via mass media on children’s expression of emotions. The effect of parental approval of their child’s expression of emotions, on the child’s approval of TV characters expressing the emotion, and the influence of both on the child’s expression of emotions within the past seven days is tested for the emotions fear, sadness, anger, and happiness with a representative survey of children (N = 1458) aged 6–19 in Germany. Moderating age and gender effects were also considered. Consistent across the four emotions, results showed that socialization of emotions via mass media is driven by internalized parental socialization but has a comparably strong effect of its own on the child’s expression of emotion that adds to the variance explained, especially with regard to anger and happiness. Implications for the conceptualization of parental emotion socialization and emotional socialization via media are discussed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the daily lives of families across the globe, forcing many to remain physically distanced and quarantine together at home as government-ordered shutdowns shuttered schools, gyms, restaurants, and workplaces. The effects of these guidelines may be particularly impactful for adolescents, as they navigate developmental changes in peer relationships in an unprecedented and more isolated way. Though adolescents are optimally positioned to utilize technology skills and plat- forms for social connectivity, this massive shift to online engagement may have detri- mental implications for sleep and well-being. Before the pandemic, over two-thirds of US teens were chronically sleep deprived (Centers for Disease Control, 2017), which may be exacerbated by pandemic-related increases in screen time. As distancing continues, researchers should reconsider the benefits and risks of adolescent screen use, including the role of caregiver monitoring.
In the present study, we assessed changes in screen time exposure among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil, in 2017 and in 2020 during the pandemic. We analyzed data from a state-wide repeated cross-sectional survey. The COVID impact research was conducted by phone interviews. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines were used to define elevated screen exposure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of children with screen exposure above recommended levels was 96.8% among 3–4-year-old and 84.2% among 5–6-year-old children. There was a significant increase in proportion of 3–4-year-old children with elevated screen time (risk difference 15.8%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 12.3–19.2; p-value < 0.001). Children participating in remote learning activities had significantly lower television time with a mean difference of −0.8 hours daily (95% CI −0.3 – −1.3; p-value: 0.003) as compared to children not participating in remote learning. The necessary COVID-19 response measures appear to increase screen time among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil. Interventions to reduce excess screen time, potentially participation in remote early learning activities should be developed and evaluated in Brazil. Prior State of Knowledge: The necessary COVID-19 response measures appear to increase sedentary time in children in developed countries. Novel contributions: COVID-19 response measures (social distancing and school closures) appear to increase screen time among 3–6-year-old children in Ceará, Brazil. In addition, children participating in remote learning activities had significantly lower television time than children not participating in remote learning. Practical implications: Public health officials should engage in helping support parents by creating safe areas for children to increase physical activity and reduce screen time, monitoring/setting limits on screen time that does not promote learning, and counsel and promote parents to be creative to engage children at home in active play during the COVID-19 pandemic. ABBREVIATIONS: Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19)
Interactive technologies have become a common play medium for young children; it is not unusual for toddlers to play games on a touchscreen device in lieu of games in the yard. Here, we compared the immediate effects of physical and touchscreen play on 2.5-year-olds’ cognitive flexibility, a key aspect of executive function. For nine minutes, toddlers engaged in touchscreen play or physical play; a third group drew and colored (control group). Next, a sorting task measured cognitive flexibility. The physical-play group outperformed the other two groups. Compared to the control group, toddlers’ cognitive flexibility benefited from physical play, whereas touchscreen play yielded no significant effect. Interestingly, toddlers who played the touchscreen game in a socially interactive way outperformed those who treated gaming as solitary play. Together, the results bear practical implications on whether and how to introduce young children to interactive technologies for play.
The London 2012 Olympics saw a number of medallists across events who were 16 years old or younger. This article examines the British print media coverage of three of the youngest gold medallist swimmers, namely: Ye Shiwen of China (16), Ruta Meiluyte of Lithuania (15) and Kate Ledecky of the USA (15). The aim of the analysis is to highlight the ways in which dominant discourses around childhood, exceptional ability, ethnicity and gender, are played out in media narratives about young, high-profile sport performers. The paper finds that Ye Shiwen is represented in a markedly different way to the other swimmers in the newspaper stories analysed, and argues that this discrepancy is due to perceived violations of normative Western constructions of childhood in Shiwen's backstory and stereotypical conceptions of Chinese culture.
The 2016 recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatricsto limit screen time for young children now provide exceptions for moderate video chat usage. We tested whether co-viewer supported face-to-face live interactions uniquely promote 24- to 36-month-old children’s participation and learning compared to co-viewer supported on-screen video chat interactions. An adult co-viewer explained the relevance of a social partner’s information and helped children see the partner as connected to real events and objects. Results showed that the partner condition impacted learning: children learned and transferred more novel words in the live condition compared to the video chat condition, and this difference was greatest for younger children. However, children participated similarly with live and video chat partners: there were no differences in imitating actions and responding promptly to the partner’s bids. Results therefore demonstrated that even when children experience media with a supportive co-viewer and even when they interact with the on-screen information, they nevertheless learn more from live interactions compared to video chat interactions.
Rotated factor loadings for the three parental television mediation practices.
Bivariate correlation between the study variables.
Summary of hierarchical regression analysis for predicting television media- tion practices.
Although children are increasingly being exposed to television in Ethiopia, much is unknown about related parental responses. This study investigated parenting practices associated with schoolchildren’s television viewing, with a focus on parental concern and mediation strategies. Three hundred and eighty-seven parents of primary schoolchildren (grades 1 through 4; Mage = 9.6 years, SD = 1.81; age: 6 to 15 years) attending six schools in Addis Ababa, completed a validated measure of concern and mediation. Results indicated that children viewed on average 2.32 h (SD ± 1.70) of television per day, and parents reported a moderate level of concern about the negative effects of television on children. The study further showed that parents mostly used restrictive mediation over instructive and co-viewing practices. Regression analysis showed that while demographic variables, together with child and parent viewing hours, significantly predicted all three mediation practices, parental concern significantly predicted restrictive and instructive mediations but not co-viewing. As children’s television exposure has become an emerging societal concern in Ethiopia, future research is recommended for contextualized understanding and intervention.
Increasing screen time in childhood has raised concerns about potential effects on academic achievement, with speculation that this is due in part to an overall decrease in sleep. However, research does not often distinguish between different types of screen time, such as that dedicated to home or other educational pursuits. Further, family factors such as socioeconomic status are known to predict academic performance but are rarely examined in concert. The current study aimed to examine the association between screen time and academic achievement and to extend the current research by exploring whether the association was moderated by the type of screen time and family socioeconomic status. Participants were 651 children from Australia and New Zealand (Mage = 10.09, SD = 3.64). Participants completed an academic achievement test, and parents reported screen time activities. Homework, but not sleep, was associated with better academic achievement. Educational television viewing (TV), but not entertainment TV, was associated with lower academic achievement. Socioeconomic status moderated the association between educational TV and academic achievement (B = −.29, p = .007). The results suggest that while screen time type does appear to be implicated in academic achievement, the mechanism appears to be specific to higher socioeconomic status families.
Access points and access devices.
Model fit evaluation information for location and devices to access internet.
Descriptive statistics of sociodemographic characteristics by access modality.
Multiple regression predicting Internet uses and digital skills.
This article analyses the modes of physical access that facilitate participation in digital opportunities and the development of digital skills in children and adolescents (9 to 17 years old). We analysed the data obtained from the Kids Online survey in Chile. A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify groups based on access points and devices of use; access modalities were then composed crossing these variables. Four access modalities were found: cellphone-home; cellphone-ubiquitous; multi-device-home; multi-device-ubiquitous. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that ubiquitous modalities (multi-device and cellphone varieties) predicted digital use and skills among young Chileans, while the more static modalities (cellphone and home and multi-device and home) did not. These results are critical to addressing what can be defined as “enabling access” among young Internet users in the context of digital inclusion policies.
Communication research has traditionally defined its subject as language and the chief gratification of media use as the exchange of information between senders and receivers. However, information exchange falls short as an explanation for child media practices like those described in Gaming Disorder, recently classified as a disease by the World Health Organization. Why have devices become so enmeshed in children’s lives, both inside and outside the home? Using research on the media practices of children with disabilities like autism and ADHD as a template, this commentary calls for an ecological reconceptualization of media devices as “care structures” that provide not just children with disabilities, but all children, with largely unrecognized accommodations beyond the standard informational, emotional, and relational gratifications specified in traditional media gratifications research. Understanding “media curb cuts” and other unacknowledged accommodations will be essential for making sense of children’s attachments to media and finding solutions for family conflict associated with child media use.
The current study seeks to identify the socialization agents that contribute to the political knowledge of elementary school children in Israel. The study’s underlying assumption is that understanding how young children acquire political knowledge is important because occurrences during early childhood have a major impact on socialization. The research considers the methodological difficulties involved in working with this age group and the perspectives associated with cultural structuring, according to which children are apolitical and therefore lack political knowledge or insights. The research examines political knowledge in the context of Israeli elections for the parliament and the prime minister and was conducted around a month prior to the elections. The results reveal that the dominant socialization agents contributing to children’s political knowledge are parents, television and school. In addition, the study found that a combination of a number of socialization agents yields increased political knowledge.
Children are exposed to many commercial messages in a given year. Yet, not all child consumers are the same. The purpose of this study was to explore children's consumer behavior, aged 3 to 8, in three diverse low-income communities. One set of children were from western Canada, one from rural Appalachia and the last from the urban northeast of the United States. The study tested whether there were differences across groups for parent-reported purchase requests and purchase related conflict. The results showed wide differences between these three sets of communities. Children from Canada made significantly fewer purchase requests and engaged in less conflict with parents, while the children from the urban northeast made the most purchase requests and experienced the greatest amount of purchase related conflict. The study further tested whether secondary variables accounted for this difference (e.g. television exposure, age). These variables could not account for the differences between communities.
In this essay, we bring together academics and activists from around the world in a “conversation café” to share their perspectives on the past, present, and future of children and media with specific emphasis on building meaningful cross-sector partnerships. Key change-agents from academe, nonprofits, and for-profit organizations committed to youth and media literacy from the USA, the UK, Singapore, the Netherlands, Australia, and India participated in this discussion. A unique online conversation café was set up to facilitate discussions over a three-week period. The conversation provides a flavor of the changing media landscape, local-global tensions, industry-academe-nonprofit initiatives, and unique challenges and opportunities relating to building cross-sector partnerships in various cultural contexts. Future directions for scholarship and activism relating to youth media, technology, and arts are discussed.
Top-cited authors
Louis Leung
  • Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Scott W Campbell
  • University of Michigan
Moniek Buijzen
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
Sonia Livingstone
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
Alexis R. Lauricella
  • Northwestern University