Comparison of demands of sustained attentional events between public and private children's television programs

Percept Mot Skills. 1998 Apr;86(2):431-4. doi: 10.2466/pms.1998.86.2.431.


The durations and variability of changing events were analyzed for 20 min. each of 13 children's television programs. These programs included selections from both publically and privately produced shows. Significantly different patterns of attentional demands were found between the programs. Public television programming is characterized by longer and more variable durations of sustained attentional events, while private television programming is best described as having fast-paced shorter events. The implications of this finding for difficulties in learning by school-age children to attend for longer periods are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Attention*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Television*
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception