Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Life Off-Screen: Study examines effect of removing TV/games consoles and computers on young children

19.06.2007
What happens if you deprive a group of 7 and 8 year olds of computers, television and games consoles for two weeks?

Psychologist and head of the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, Professor Barrie Gunter, has been working with the BBC Panorama team to find out. The results of the study will be shown on BBC One on 18th June.

Twenty-three 7 and 8-year-old school children from a single year group in a primary school in the Manchester area took part. They included children with a wide cross section of interests, from those who spent their free time in front of a screen to others who led a more active life outside school. Their families were also recruited to take part.

Over a five-week period, the children were observed in the classroom and along with their families in their homes. During weeks 3 and 4, half the participants had their TV sets, PCs and portable game consoles removed or disabled. The remaining families carried on as normal.

All the children participating were filmed in school by the BBC over this period, while five families were filmed at home. All the families kept diaries indicating how they used their time and the class teacher produced behaviour ratings scores on each child in class at the end of each week.

Afterwards, some parents admitted the experiment had shown up how they had allowed themselves to rely too much on on-screen entertainment to keep children amused while they got on with their own business.

Even after just two weeks, families found they began to interact more, even to ‘rediscover’ their pleasure in each other’s company.

Children tired from an active evening were more liable to go to bed early and wake up refreshed and alert the next day.

Professor Gunter said: “This research could reveal just how dependent people have become on their TV sets and personal or portable computers. These are technologies many of us take for granted these days. The TV is switched on without thinking and provides background noise and a constant companion. It is only once these sources of entertainment are removed from our environment that our dependency on them is dramatically exposed. Suddenly we find ourselves faced with a lot of empty time to fill or a room full of…silence. The big question for the families we have observed is how they coped with the absence of screen-based entertainment.

“Our soundings indicated that families in TV- and PC-deprived homes turned to the next nearest alternatives – radio instead of TV for background noise and board games instead of electronic games for interactive enjoyment. What we also found, however, is that the families also talked to and interacted with each other more.

There was no conclusive evidence that the temporary absence of TV and game consoles resulted in changed behaviour in school, but spin-off educational benefits were likely to accrue from the greater enthusiasm many of the children showed for doing homework and as a result of going to bed earlier when there was no TV to tempt them to stay up late at night.”

One parent told the Panorama team after the two-week experiment: “Thinking of how we were as a family around the TV…the TV controlling us…and using the TV as a pacifier for the kids…just seems totally crazy now.”

The Panorama programme Is TV Bad for my Kids? is on BBC One on Monday 18th June at 8.30-9.00pm.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>