Links between parents' and girls' television viewing behaviors: a longitudinal examination

J Pediatr. 2005 Oct;147(4):436-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2005.05.002.


Objective: This longitudinal study examines links between parents' television (TV)-related parenting practices and their daughter's daily TV viewing hours.

Study design: Participants included 173 non-Hispanic white girls and their parents who were examined when girls were age 9 and 11 years. Girls' daily TV viewing hours, mothers' and fathers' daily TV viewing hours, parents' use of TV as a recreational activity, family TV co-viewing, and parents' restriction of girls' access to TV were assessed.

Results: Approximately 40% of girls exceeded the TV-viewing recommendations (ie, < or =2 hours/day). Girls watched significantly more TV when their parents were high-volume TV viewers, relied heavily on TV as a recreational activity, watched TV with them, and failed to limit their access to TV. A parenting risk score was calculated by collapsing information across all parenting variables. In comparison with girls exposed to 1 or fewer parenting risk factors at age 9, girls exposed to 2 or more parenting risk factors were 5 to 10 times more likely to exceed TV viewing recommendations at age 9 and 11.

Conclusions: Efforts to reduce TV viewing among children should encourage parents to limit their own TV viewing, reduce family TV viewing time, and limit their children's access to TV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Recreation
  • Television*
  • Time Factors