How does television affect children?

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Posted on 10 January 2012

Despite over 50 years of research there are still many gaps in our understanding of how watching television affects young children. In particular there is little scientific evidence about how the speed and intensity of programmes affect young children’s concentration and understanding.  Researchers at Keele are currently looking for interested parents and their young children to take part in research aiming to answer this question.

The researchers are looking for local children who are near to their third or fourth birthday.  Taking part in this research would involve a researcher visiting a home on two occasions, both for approximately 45 minutes. During each visit the child would watch an episode of Postman Pat, complete a short puzzle and answer some simple questions about what they had just watched. While the child is doing this the researcher would ask the parent to fill in a questionnaire about their child’s  general behaviour and TV watching habits.

Overall the researchers are looking for 60 young children and their parents to help with this research.  Findings of this study will provide greater insight into how different types of television affect the behaviour of young children.  These findings will be shared with parents, early years professionals, academics and the general public.  If you take part you will be sent a summary of the findings.