TV, computers and video games are deeply entrenched in modern life but what effect does all this screen time have on how children develop?
One thing is clear, screen time is sedentary behavior and too much can replace the physical activity necessary for children to grow healthy and maintain normal weight.
Less clear are the cognitive and emotional effects on development. A recent NY Times article reports on recomendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to limit the screen time of children.
In class you will be investigating the influence of video games on aggressive behavior of children but there are several other concerns parents may have about their children's viewing habits.
For example, television often portrays males and females in gender-stereotyped ways. As you watch clips from Barney and Power Rangers in lab you may also want to think about what influence these portrayals likely have on the development of gender identity and gender role awareness in children?
A recent study estimates that children 4-11 years old spend on average 2-4 hours a day in front of a some type of electronic screen.
A question we might ask is "What are children missing out on while watching television?"
Can you imagine life without TV or video games? What would you have done during your childhood and adolescence with the time you spent watching television? Would you have turned out any different?