Only Two Hours? A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Parents Perceive in Restricting Child Television Time

Cortney A. Evans, Amy B. Jordan, Jennifer Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines parents' and children's reaction to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to limit children's television (TV) viewing to 2 hours a day or less. To better understand the challenges faced by parents who would seek to adhere to the guidelines, we conducted qualitative small group interviews with 60 parent/child dyads from each of the following three age groups: 6 to 7, 9 to 10, and 12 to 13 years (N = 180 children and 180 parents). Parents and children were interviewed separately and transcripts were thematically analyzed using Atlas.ti. Results indicate three salient challenges: (a) limiting children's TV time will cause conflict in the home because of children's anger at parents' rules and increased bickering between siblings; (b) replacing TV as an entertainer takes time away from parents and requires monetary and community resources that are not available; and (c) TV is seen as a beneficial presence in the home, offering entertainment, free babysitting, and educational opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1244
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • children
  • media
  • parenting
  • television

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