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Publisher Description

Recent research discusses the vital role parents play in the mediation of young children's screen media experiences. Investigations suggest that parental mediation with children during joint viewing, otherwise known as co-viewing, episodes enhances attention and comprehension to program content, thereby potentially eliciting learning. This study explores parent's beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding young children and screen media use and exposure. Specifically, this investigation examines the contextual nature of children's screen media experiences through parent responses to questions regarding their child's household screen media use. Parents of 21 children age 0 to 5 years old completed questionnaires detailing parental beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding the screen media use of their child. The majority of parents reported having neutral attitudes toward children's screen media use. Responses also indicated that parents value screen media as an educational tool for their children, and that parents believe it is important to watch programs with their children. Parents reported using a combination of mediation strategies as opposed to using one particular mediation strategy most frequently during children's screen media viewing episodes. Findings from this study may lead to future investigations into the contextual nature of young children's screen media experiences. Young children encounter screen media devices such as TV, DVD, and video in their environment beginningearly in life. As with diets of food and physical activity, the habits of an individual's screen media diet may become established early in life as well. The study of young children and their screen media consumption is relatively new (when compared for example to research literature regarding print media and children) and could offer empowering information to those responsible for the health and well-being of young children. Findings gathered from observations of screen viewing experiences taken from an ecological perspective could benefit health care providers, parents, educators, and policy makers. Understanding the factors involved in young children's screen media experiences could provide knowledge capable of facilitating appropriate decision making regarding young children's screen media use and exposure. Parents, educators, healthcare providers, and policy makers can impact children's media consumption patterns early on by engaging in adequately informed discussions guided by findings from experimental and natural setting investigations of interactions between parents and children during household screen media use. If, for example, pediatricians are guided by research findings and discuss the implications associated with household screen media use and children's development with parents during office visits, parents may in turn use this information to guide their decisions about children's screen media use and exposure. This information could also be used to guide early childhood educators and their use of screen media products with the young children in their care.

Professional & Technical
October 21
Creative Media, LLC