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Effects the Media has on Child development - Research Paper Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: The Effect of Media on Child Development Abstract Media as a means of communication has been noted to impact significantly on the development of children. With content being the major determining factor, media could either positively or negatively influence child development…
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Effects the Media has on Child development

Download file to see previous pages... From the first appearance of television sets in living rooms in the 20th Century, there has been a concern on their impact on the viewers, particularly the children. Recent years has seen this concern extended to electronic media including computers. The fact that children spend seven hours per day on average in media such as televisions, computers and other electronic devices, as noted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP indicates the important role that the media plays in shaping development in children. Kirkorian et al. (39) observe content as the most crucial determining factor in evaluating how media affects development in children. Therefore, depending on the content in the media under focus, the effect on child development could either be positive or negative. Media play an important role in language acquisition. As observed by Kirkorian (40), children who watched Sesame Street, a preschooler educational program, learnt vocabulary, identification of numbers and letters and concepts including shapes and colors. Television viewing has in particular been noted to impart language learning especially if the programs include on-screen characters talking to children. Children to whom English is not their first language could take advantage of this opportunity to learn the language as they watch English programs. Media has been credited with designing programs that aim at communicating social or academic skills which help children in learning the intended lessons. Programs dealing with diverse literacy in children including science, mathematics and social skills promote learning in children. Kirkorian et al. (46) observe that Blue Clues, a television program focused on cognitive and social problem-solving skills among preschoolers, caused children to be more systematic and successful in problem solutions. The Canadian Pediatric Society (303) also sites Sesame Street as an example of a television program that teaches children important social aspects such as cooperation, kindness, racial harmony and the alphabet. Such programs stimulate children to visit libraries, museums and bookstores among other active recreational places that impart positive learning. This could also be said of Internet websites that have curricula to prepare preschoolers for schooling. In fact, various software programs have been produced to this effect and the impact has been positive. Therefore, educational media improve on educational achievement of children. Critics argue against media as negatively impacting on the development of cognitive skills in children. This argument mainly revolves around attention development. According to Sigman (102), the frequent switch in content and scenes disrupt the ability of children to sustain attention. Additionally, early exposure to non-educational entertainment and violent media programs has been positively associated with attention problems. Kirkorian et al. (45) give an example of a study that compared the effect of a pro-social program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and violent cartoon, Batman. The findings support the correlation between the content of media programs and attention skills in the children being studied. The children exposed to violent cartoons showed decreased self-regulation whereas those exposed to the pro-social program exhibited tolerance of delay, rule obedience and task persistence. It would be important to appreciate that the two programs not only ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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