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
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
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org, for a copy of the complete study.
Mike Ferlazzo | EurekAlert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences
20.11.2017 | Life Sciences