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 Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media - Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen
04.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

nachricht High Number of Science Enthusiasts in Switzerland
05.02.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>