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ARTICLES / TV: Children adopt parents' TV habits

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The amount of time parents spend watching television was the strongest influence on the amount of screen time their children log, results of survey show.

The correlation was three times stronger than any other factor examined, including access to television in the bedroom and rules about TV viewing in the home, Amy Bleakley, PhD, MPH, of Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues reported in Pediatrics.

For every hour of television parents watch, their child watches an additional 23 minutes, the researchers found. This pattern was the same for all age groups included in the study.

“By watching television with their parents and observing their parents' own media practices, youth are socialized to view television in a way that reflects the culture and norms of their household,” the researchers wrote. "Interventions to reduce television time among children may benefit from a greater focus on parents."

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