Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Parents prefer media content ratings system in national study led by ISU's Douglas Gentile

21.06.2011
Although parents appreciate having media ratings systems to help protect their kids from questionable content in movies, video games and television, the current age-based system doesn't meet their needs, according to a new study led by Iowa State University's Douglas Gentile. The study found that parents would prefer media ratings that focus on detailed content information.

A national sample of 2,392 parents was surveyed by independent research firms -- Harris Polls and Research Now -- in the study "Parents' Evaluation of Media Ratings a Decade After Television Ratings Were Introduced," which will be published in the July 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online June 20).

It summarizes the results of three studies -- the first from 2007, the second in 2008 and the third in 2009 -- examining what parents really think of current rating systems, how they use them, and what improvements they would make.

"We have always assumed there was general agreement underlying age-based ratings that a certain type of content is acceptable for child of a certain age," said Gentile, an associate professor of psychology. "But nobody, to my knowledge, ever attempted to verify that assumption. In this study we directly asked parents what content they care about, would they restrict their kids from viewing it, and at what age do they think it's acceptable for kids to see each type of content. The surprising result is that parents do not agree at what age it is acceptable to view different types of content.

"When we dug a little deeper and looked at different groups of parents -- those who were regular churchgoers, for example -- they have very different opinions on what age they'd find certain content to be acceptable for children," he said.

Parents prefer detailed content ratings
A large majority of parents (76 percent) indicated that they would like to see detailed content ratings, as well as age-based ratings.

Study authors -- which also include Julie Maier, an Iowa State psychology graduate student; Mary Rice Hasson, a communications consultant from Fairfax, Va.; and Beatriz Lopez de Bonetti, a market research consultant from Kansas City, Kan. -- conclude that existing ratings do not cover all the areas parents want, are not completely accurate, and as a result, are not used regularly. They wrote that improvements in ratings are needed to make them beneficial for parents.

When asked how they felt about the three current major ratings systems (movies, video games and television), a majority of parents said they regularly used movie ratings the most (48 percent), followed by video game ratings (34 percent) and television ratings (31 percent). But when asked how accurate the ratings were, only 5 to 6 percent viewed the movie, television and video game ratings as always accurate.

"For age-based ratings to be valid, the people who need to use them -- parents -- must generally agree that they are accurate. If parents don't agree at which age different content is acceptable, that means all age-based ratings must, by necessity, be invalid," said Gentile, who first started studying the validity of the ratings systems 10 years ago.

"This is a stake through the heart of age-based ratings," he concluded.

A list of 36 content labels
The authors compiled a list of 36 content labels and descriptors -- listed under four content categories: sexual, violent, offensive language and mature -- that Gentile says could be used as a basis for a future content ratings system.

"For about half of those 36 different types of content, more than 50 percent of parents said, 'Yes, I would screen this for my kid if I knew about it,'" he said. "Therefore, we know what content parents want to know about."

A majority of parents thought there should be a universal rating system for all media, including additional media types such as Internet websites and games, music CDs and games on handheld devices. And given that media have converged in a way that almost all types of media can now be accessed on one electronic device, Gentile says it's a good time to re-assess how ratings are applied.

Contact the American Academy of Pediatrics Department of Communications at 847-434-7877, or mrt@aap.org, for a copy of the complete study.

Mike Ferlazzo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>