The Paediatrics and Child Health journal has published a full report in 2003 about the negative Impact of Media Use on Children and Youth, made up of analysis of many studies conducted on that matter from various researchers and universities. Their main conclusion was that as the number of hours when children are exposed to media increases, the less can children develop their social, physical and mental skills.
Although some could argue that, for example, television can serve as good teaching material, which has been supported by a study called Thirty Years of Research on Sesame Street which concluded that the programme has a positive impact on child’s development. Television, on the other hand, holds back children from activities such as reading and writing and other physical activities. Media constant coverage of mal-nutritious foods has been linked many times to child’s obesity and poor eating habits. Sexualisation of children in the media has also become an issue, together with children’s dependency on media as teaching material for sexual education. A study on such matter has been published in the Committee on Public Education in 2001.
Moreover, the report concluded that not only does media have negative impacts on child’s development when it exposes them to inappropriate sexual content and age-inappropriate language, it also increases children’s violent behaviour. The amount of violence shown on television has increased dramatically in the past years, but not only exposure to violent TV has an impact on children. A study done by Dr Madelyn S Gould and associates concluded that there is also a relationship between media coverage of suicides and the suicide risk that comes from that coverage.
Paediatric Child Health. (2003). Impact of media use on children and youth. Paediatrics & Child Health, 8(5), 301. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792691/
Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media. Committee on Public Education Pediatrics. Jan 2001, 107 (1) 191-194; DOI: 10.1542/peds.107.1.191