Parental Involvement in Middle Childhood: Can It Protect Children from Harmful TV Viewing Habits and Behavior?

Child Trends

This report used data from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health  of more than  30,000 children between the ages of six and 11 to determine if there were linkages between a child’s television viewing habits, parental involvement and levels of child behavior problems.

Analyses indicate that children who watched more than three hours of television a day, who did not communicate very well with their parents and whose parents knew few or none of their friends had greater levels of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems. Moreover, the study found that a combination of frequent TV viewing and low levels of parental involvement is related to particularly elevated levels of behavior problems. Children in middle school were especially likely to have behavior problems if they watched more than three hours of television a day and had low parental involvement, according to the report.

The analyses suggest that parent-child communication may be the most important of the measures examined in the report. Free, six pages. (202) 572-6000,


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