Factors associated with patterns of infant television viewing behavior: A questionnaire and diary analysis
Recent research has indicated that there are long-term consequences of early media exposure. Early exposure to television is related to vocabulary expansion and prosocial development; early exposure is also related to sleep disruption and behavioral problems at school age. Due to these important consequences, the purpose of the present study was to examine the factors that are associated with the amount, content, and context of infant exposure to television. In this study, 308 parents of infants aged 6 to 18 months filled out questionnaires detailing what kind of rules and attitudes the parents had towards television. Parents also filled out 24-hour television diaries to provide an accurate representation of viewing behavior. Regression analyses indicated that parental rules did not predict amount of television exposure, but rules did predict the content of the programming infants are exposed to, as well as the amount of time that caregivers spend co-viewing with their infant. These findings indicate that rules concerning content and co-viewing are highly related to infant viewing behavior, and that these rules could potentially impact the future media behavior of these infants.
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