The Impact of Background Television on Parent-Child Interaction

Child Dev. Sep-Oct 2009;80(5):1350-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01337.x.

Abstract

This study investigated the hypothesis that background television affects interactions between parents and very young children. Fifty-one 12-, 24-, and 36-month-old children, each accompanied by 1 parent, were observed for 1 hr of free play in a laboratory space resembling a family room. For half of the hour, an adult-directed television program played in the background on a monaural television set. During the other half hour, the television was not on. Both the quantity and quality of parent-child interaction decreased in the presence of background television. These findings suggest one way in which early, chronic exposure to television may have a negative impact on development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents
  • Play and Playthings
  • Television*
  • Videotape Recording