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The media landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, though television still accounts for the single largest proportion of children’s “screen time.” Children and teens now have many video-based media available to them, and use of these has grown dramatically, with some data suggesting this has led to an overall increase in viewing of television content.

Importance

Television is available to nearly all children ages eight to 18 (99 percent in 2009), and most of these children have a television in their bedroom (71 percent in 2009). [1] Conventional television viewing has decreased over the past twenty years (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, and Appendix 3).  But, when one includes TV content displayed on computers, and handheld media devices, such as iPods or cell phones, viewing actually increased by 38 minutes per day from 1999 to 2009, according to a national study.  The average amount of television 8- to 18-year-olds watch is four-and-a-half hours per day.  Total daily media exposure is equivalent to ten hours, squeezed (through multi-tasking) into about seven-and-a-half hours of time.[2]

Although current evidence falls short of establishing causal relationships, excessive[i] television viewing is associated with a number of negative outcomes for children.  Children watching high levels of television are less likely to experience feelings of contentment,[3] to participate in after-school activities,[4] to engage actively in other intellectually stimulating activities,[5] to have mostly “A” or “B” grades,[6] and to do well on math achievement tests.[7],[8]

Activities that contribute to positive development may be neglected. When mothers watch educational programs with their infant, they tend to engage in less conversation.[9] In addition, when extensive television viewing is coupled with another risk factor, such as low parental involvement, this is linked to higher levels of children’s behavior problems.  For example, children who watched more than three hours of television a day, who communicated poorly with parents, and whose parents knew few of their friends, had greater levels of “externalizing” (acting out) and “internalizing” behaviors (such as depression), according to one report.[10]

Heavy media use may interfere with physical health, particularly with sleep and physical activity.  Excessive television viewing at very young ages (one to three) is linked to a decreased attention span later in life and to sleep problems.[11] Adolescents who watch three or more hours of television a day are more likely to have sleep problems when in their early twenties.[12]

Infrequent exercise and obesity are concerns often linked with excessive media use.[13],[14] However, a 2010 report found no relationship between heavy media use (including television, Internet, music movies, and video games) and physical activity.[15] Overall, research on the link between obesity and media use has been mixed.[16]

Research has also found that viewing television violence is associated with children’s aggression.[17] In particular, excessive exposure to violent television programs may increase
aggression levels.[18] Young adults who routinely watch violent television programs as children (6- to 10-year-olds) exhibit more aggressive behaviors as young adults than their
peers who watch no violent television.[19] Another study finds a link between viewing violent television in adolescence, and drug dependence several years later.[20]

Trends

55_fig1Television watching, as traditionally measured, has declined in recent years, especially among younger students. The percentage of eighth- and tenth -graders who reported watching four or more hours of television on an average weekday decreased between 1991 and 2012, with the largest drops occurring among eighth-graders (from 36 to 22 percent), followed by tenth-graders (decreasing from 28 to 20 percent). After decreasing in the early 1990s, excessive television watching among twelfth-graders has remained steady since 1995.  (Figure 1)

The percentage of students at each grade level who watched one hour of television or less per day increased between 1991 and 2012, from 20 to 38 percent among eighth-graders, from 29 to 42 percent among tenth-graders, and from 38 to 43 percent among twelfth-graders. (Appendix 1)

However, as noted earlier, television content is now available on a variety of devices. Using this more inclusive definition of TV watching, use among 8-18-year-olds increased between 2004 and 2009. Children ages 11-14 watched the most TV content in 2009 (five hours and three minutes daily).[21]

Differences by Race/Hispanic Origin[22]

55_fig2Black students are much more likely than white students to watch four or more hours of television per weekday, at all grade levels. Among twelfth-graders in 2012, 39 percent of black students watched four or more hours of television, compared with 16 percent of white students. This disparity was even greater among tenth- and eighth-grade students (45 versus 14 percent for tenth-graders, and 45 versus 15 percent for eighth-graders). Rates for Hispanic students fell between those for black and white students at each grade level, but were significantly different from both.  (Figure 2)

White students at each grade level are more likely than black students to watch only one hour or less of weekday television. For example, in 2012, 48 percent of white students in the tenth grade watched one or fewer hours of television, compared with 23 percent of black students and 32 percent of Hispanic students in the tenth grade. (Appendix 1)

Differences by Parental Education

55_fig3Students whose parents have a high level of education are less likely to be heavy weekday television watchers than students whose parents have low levels of education. For example, among tenth-graders in 2012, 33 percent of students whose parents did not complete high school watched four or more hours of television on weekdays, compared with 11 percent whose parents completed graduate school. (Figure 3)

 

Differences by Age

Eighth-graders watch more television than their older peers. Twenty-two percent of students in eighth grade watched four or more hours of television per day in 2012, compared with 20 percent, each of tenth-graders and twelfth-graders. (Figure 1) Similarly, in 2012, while 38 percent of eighth-graders watched one hour or less of television per night, that number increases to 43 percent for tenth- and twelfth- graders. (Appendix 1) In the past, twelfth-graders watched less television than tenth-graders, but that difference has disappeared in recent years. (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, and Appendix 3)

Differences by College Plans

Students who do not plan to complete college are more likely to watch four or more hours of television on an average weekday, compared with those who plan to complete college. For example, in 2012, 23 percent of twelfth-grade students who did not plan to complete college watched four or more hours of television on an average weekday, compared with 19 percent who planned to complete college. (Appendix 3)

Similarly, students who have plans to earn a college degree are more likely to watch one hour or less of television on an average weekday. For example, in tenth grade, 43 percent of students who plan to complete college watch one hour or less of television on an average weekday, compared with 32 percent of those students who do not plan to complete college. (Appendix 1)

State and Local Estimates

State data on weekday television and video watching, and video game playing, for children ages 1 to 17 are available from the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.

International Estimates

Estimates for
countries participating in the Third International Mathematics and Science
Study (TIMSS) and the TIMSS-Repeat are available at:

National Goals

Healthy People
2020
has set a goal to increase the
percentage of children and adolescents who view television, videos, or play
video games no more than two hours a day.

More information is
available here.

What Works to Make Progress on This Indicator

Several sources discuss the best ways to decrease excessive television viewing:

Terzian, M., & Mbwana, K.
(2009). What works for parent involvement programs for adolescents: Lessons
from experimental evaluations of social interventions
[Electronic Version]
Washington, DC: Child Trends.

Reducing Children’s Television Viewing to Prevent Obesity.

See also the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2010 policy statement on media education.

Related Indicators

Definition

Students were asked, “How much television do you estimate you watch on an average weekday?” (Possible responses were: none, half-hour or less, about one hour, about two hours, about three hours, about four hours, and five hours or more) Responses were then grouped into the three categories (1 hour or less, 2 to 3 hours, 4 or more hours).

Data Sources

Child Trends
original analysis of Monitoring the Future survey data, 1991 to 2012.

Raw Data Source

Bachman, Jerald G., Lloyd D. Johnston, and Patrick M. O’Malley. Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (8th, 10th, and 12th-Grade Surveys), 1976-2012 [Computer files]. Conducted by University of Michigan, Survey Research Center. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor].

ICPSR: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/

Monitoring the
Future: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/

 

1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Eighth Grade 20.1 22.1 24.1 23.8 23.5 25.4 26.9 27.8 25.9 27.4 28.0 28.9 30.8 32.1 32.5 35.6 35.1 37.5
Gender
Male 17.6 20.8 21.9 21.4 21.5 22.9 24.9 25.1 24.4 26.6 26.0 27.8 29.6 30.5 31.4 32.6 34.0 35.5
Female 22.7 23.4 26.6 26.3 25.6 28.0 28.9 30.5 27.6 28.6 30.0 30.5 32.2 33.9 33.8 38.5 36.9 39.5
Race
White 22.6 26.9 28.7 29.0 29.2 31.2 33.2 33.7 30.9 31.5 32.9 35.0 36.6 38.4 38.9 42.9 40.9 43.8
Black 7.5 7.5 9.6 8.8 9.4 11.5 12.1 10.7 10.9 12.3 13.2 11.8 14.9 15.3 16.8 19.1 18.2 22.1
Hispanic 22.3 24.9 27.2 28.5
Parental Education1
Less than high school 15.8 17.2 16.5 17.9 16.3 19.3 20.3 18.4 18.6 18.1 20.5 22.3 23.8 25.3 24.8 25.5 27.0 27.9
Completed high school 15.5 16.3 20.1 17.6 19.4 20.7 21.9 25.3 20.5 22.3 20.8 23.5 25.6 27.2 28.4 30.7 28.3 32.2
Some college 17.9 19.2 21.7 22.2 19.4 23.6 24.9 24.2 23.5 24.6 26.0 27.1 28.1 29.0 28.3 32.8 32.0 33.6
Completed college 24.3 26.0 26.4 26.5 28.2 29.6 30.5 30.8 29.8 30.9 32.8 33.4 35.6 35.3 36.7 39.6 38.3 43.5
Graduate school 31.3 37.2 37.9 37.2 37.5 39.3 40.7 40.8 38.5 41.3 41.1 40.7 43.3 45.9 47.3 49.5 49.0 48.7
College Plans
None or under 4 years 17.5 20.1 19.5 24.0 19.9 21.2 24.3 22.2 22.6 22.8 22.8 25.7 28.9 29.4 28.0 31.0 30.8 32.7
Complete four years 20.7 22.5 25.1 24.0 24.0 26.1 27.5 28.6 26.6 27.9 28.8 29.6 31.1 32.5 33.2 36.2 35.7 37.9
(1 hour or less) 1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Tenth Grade 28.5 32.4 32.8 31.4 33.1 34.5 35.9 33.7 33.2 33.7 34.6 36.8 35.7 36.5 37.5 39.1 38.5 42.4
Gender
Male 25.4 29.4 29.5 28.9 29.6 29.7 31.5 30.6 29.8 31.5 33.2 34.5 34.0 34.7 36.6 37.8 37.7 41.1
Female 32.0 35.4 36.5 34.1 36.3 39.1 40.1 37.1 36.5 35.9 36.4 39.1 37.6 38.4 39.0 40.3 39.7 43.9
Race
White 33.4 36.4 38.8 38.2 39.4 41.5 42.2 41.0 40.0 39.0 40.5 42.1 42.1 43.9 44.5 45.4 44.5 47.6
Black 10.0 11.4 13.5 12.4 13.1 12.0 13.8 13.0 16.0 13.5 15.0 14.1 14.5 16.4 18.3 21.0 20.8 23.1
Hispanic 29.8 27.2 29.6 31.9
Parental Education1
Less than high school 20.5 20.6 21.2 20.9 26.1 21.2 22.1 25.2 23.2 25.1 23.5 29.0 25.0 26.2 29.2 29.3 28.5 29.0
Completed high school 21.8 26.4 27.4 26.8 27.3 28.1 29.3 28.3 27.8 27.2 27.9 30.2 29.0 30.5 32.2 32.6 33.7 33.9
Some college 28.2 31.0 31.7 31.0 31.0 32.7 36.3 32.8 30.9 31.6 31.6 33.7 34.2 34.8 34.6 36.4 34.7 38.7
Completed college 34.9 36.7 38.9 36.8 38.1 40.9 40.8 38.4 37.0 36.6 38.7 41.0 40.2 41.7 42.8 43.7 44.4 46.7
Graduate school 41.0 47.5 46.2 44.3 47.3 48.7 50.5 48.1 49.0 47.9 50.2 49.7 49.4 49.5 52.9 54.0 52.3 58.8
College Plans
None or under 4 years 21.9 25.4 28.5 28.7 28.6 28.3 30.2 28.6 27.6 30.1 28.3 31.4 30.0 30.9 33.0 34.8 34.6 31.6
Complete four years 30.2 33.8 33.8 32.1 33.9 35.5 37.0 34.7 34.1 34.2 35.8 37.6 36.6 37.3 39.0 39.7 39.1 43.3
(1 hour or less) 1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Twelfth Grade 38.2 40.1 41.2 43.4 40.8 44.5 44.2 40.9 45.3 41.9 43.3 44.7 44.7 43.2 43.2 46.1 45.1 43.0
Gender
Male 36.5 39.1 41.4 45.1 38.9 45.4 42.7 39.3 44.7 41.4 43.1 45.5 43.8 42.4 44.6 44.2 46.4 42.9
Female 40.3 41.3 41.5 43.2 43.4 44.3 46.5 41.7 46.9 43.6 43.5 43.9 45.9 44.5 42.0 47.7 44.4 43.2
Race
White 44.2 45.2 47.7 51.0 47.5 53.9 52.1 47.6 51.6 47.5 49.3 51.1 51.6 49.0 48.9 51.0 46.4 47.6
Black 14.0 17.0 17.4 14.6 14.5 17.6 16.2 21.9 27.6 18.8 17.5 21.7 22.4 27.3 22.2 34.7 28.7 19.8
Hispanic 37.6 36.4 36.6 39.5
Parental Education1
Less than high school 31.6 27.3 28.2 28.0 33.1 27.0 40.6 29.0 39.5 29.1 36.8 33.3 33.4 42.2 34.2 39.9 36.0 38.3
Completed high school 33.8 33.8 34.0 37.1 36.7 44.9 41.6 38.0 41.0 36.9 33.7 44.6 42.2 39.9 36.2 42.4 38.1 38.3
Some college 36.7 40.7 41.7 44.6 41.2 44.3 43.9 40.8 45.7 42.2 40.7 42.5 42.0 42.2 45.6 43.2 42.3 42.9
Completed college 46.8 47.7 48.5 50.5 45.7 47.3 44.5 44.8 51.1 46.9 47.0 46.8 50.2 44.9 46.6 51.4 48.1 47.8
Graduate school 47.8 48.1 54.8 53.0 47.1 54.6 55.0 49.2 50.4 53.1 63.3 55.3 57.1 53.8 55.2 54.9 64.1 48.5
College Plans
None or under 4 years 33.2 32.3 37.5 38.8 39.5 44.6 43.1 39.2 37.7 37.9 37.0 43.1 40.5 34.1 40.9 41.3 40.5 37.0
Complete four years 40.8 42.2 42.8 45.0 41.8 45.5 45.4 41.8 47.7 43.1 45.4 45.5 46.3 45.8 44.5 46.7 46.1 44.3
1 Parental education is calculated by the Institute of Social Research as the average of the mother’s and father’s education. Child Trends has relabeled these results to reflect the education level of the most educated parent. In those circumstances where the gap between mothers’ and fathers’ education is more than one level, this results in an underestimate of the most educated parent’s education level.Source: Original analysis by Child Trends of Monitoring the Future data, 1991-2012.

 

Appendix 2 – Percentage of Eighth-, Tenth-, and Twelfth-Graders Watching Television Two or Three Hours on the Average Weekday: Selected Years, 1991-2012

1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Eighth Grade 20.1 22.1 24.1 23.8 23.5 25.4 26.9 27.8 25.9 27.4 28.0 28.9 30.8 32.1 32.5 35.6 35.1 37.5
Gender
Male 17.6 20.8 21.9 21.4 21.5 22.9 24.9 25.1 24.4 26.6 26.0 27.8 29.6 30.5 31.4 32.6 34.0 35.5
Female 22.7 23.4 26.6 26.3 25.6 28.0 28.9 30.5 27.6 28.6 30.0 30.5 32.2 33.9 33.8 38.5 36.9 39.5
Race
White 22.6 26.9 28.7 29.0 29.2 31.2 33.2 33.7 30.9 31.5 32.9 35.0 36.6 38.4 38.9 42.9 40.9 43.8
Black 7.5 7.5 9.6 8.8 9.4 11.5 12.1 10.7 10.9 12.3 13.2 11.8 14.9 15.3 16.8 19.1 18.2 22.1
Hispanic 22.3 24.9 27.2 28.5
Parental Education1
Less than high school 15.8 17.2 16.5 17.9 16.3 19.3 20.3 18.4 18.6 18.1 20.5 22.3 23.8 25.3 24.8 25.5 27.0 27.9
Completed high school 15.5 16.3 20.1 17.6 19.4 20.7 21.9 25.3 20.5 22.3 20.8 23.5 25.6 27.2 28.4 30.7 28.3 32.2
Some college 17.9 19.2 21.7 22.2 19.4 23.6 24.9 24.2 23.5 24.6 26.0 27.1 28.1 29.0 28.3 32.8 32.0 33.6
Completed college 24.3 26.0 26.4 26.5 28.2 29.6 30.5 30.8 29.8 30.9 32.8 33.4 35.6 35.3 36.7 39.6 38.3 43.5
Graduate school 31.3 37.2 37.9 37.2 37.5 39.3 40.7 40.8 38.5 41.3 41.1 40.7 43.3 45.9 47.3 49.5 49.0 48.7
College Plans
None or under 4 years 17.5 20.1 19.5 24.0 19.9 21.2 24.3 22.2 22.6 22.8 22.8 25.7 28.9 29.4 28.0 31.0 30.8 32.7
Complete four years 20.7 22.5 25.1 24.0 24.0 26.1 27.5 28.6 26.6 27.9 28.8 29.6 31.1 32.5 33.2 36.2 35.7 37.9
(1 hour or less) 1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Tenth Grade 28.5 32.4 32.8 31.4 33.1 34.5 35.9 33.7 33.2 33.7 34.6 36.8 35.7 36.5 37.5 39.1 38.5 42.4
Gender
Male 25.4 29.4 29.5 28.9 29.6 29.7 31.5 30.6 29.8 31.5 33.2 34.5 34.0 34.7 36.6 37.8 37.7 41.1
Female 32.0 35.4 36.5 34.1 36.3 39.1 40.1 37.1 36.5 35.9 36.4 39.1 37.6 38.4 39.0 40.3 39.7 43.9
Race
White 33.4 36.4 38.8 38.2 39.4 41.5 42.2 41.0 40.0 39.0 40.5 42.1 42.1 43.9 44.5 45.4 44.5 47.6
Black 10.0 11.4 13.5 12.4 13.1 12.0 13.8 13.0 16.0 13.5 15.0 14.1 14.5 16.4 18.3 21.0 20.8 23.1
Hispanic 29.8 27.2 29.6 31.9
Parental Education1
Less than high school 20.5 20.6 21.2 20.9 26.1 21.2 22.1 25.2 23.2 25.1 23.5 29.0 25.0 26.2 29.2 29.3 28.5 29.0
Completed high school 21.8 26.4 27.4 26.8 27.3 28.1 29.3 28.3 27.8 27.2 27.9 30.2 29.0 30.5 32.2 32.6 33.7 33.9
Some college 28.2 31.0 31.7 31.0 31.0 32.7 36.3 32.8 30.9 31.6 31.6 33.7 34.2 34.8 34.6 36.4 34.7 38.7
Completed college 34.9 36.7 38.9 36.8 38.1 40.9 40.8 38.4 37.0 36.6 38.7 41.0 40.2 41.7 42.8 43.7 44.4 46.7
Graduate school 41.0 47.5 46.2 44.3 47.3 48.7 50.5 48.1 49.0 47.9 50.2 49.7 49.4 49.5 52.9 54.0 52.3 58.8
College Plans
None or under 4 years 21.9 25.4 28.5 28.7 28.6 28.3 30.2 28.6 27.6 30.1 28.3 31.4 30.0 30.9 33.0 34.8 34.6 31.6
Complete four years 30.2 33.8 33.8 32.1 33.9 35.5 37.0 34.7 34.1 34.2 35.8 37.6 36.6 37.3 39.0 39.7 39.1 43.3
(1 hour or less) 1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Twelfth Grade 38.2 40.1 41.2 43.4 40.8 44.5 44.2 40.9 45.3 41.9 43.3 44.7 44.7 43.2 43.2 46.1 45.1 43.0
Gender
Male 36.5 39.1 41.4 45.1 38.9 45.4 42.7 39.3 44.7 41.4 43.1 45.5 43.8 42.4 44.6 44.2 46.4 42.9
Female 40.3 41.3 41.5 43.2 43.4 44.3 46.5 41.7 46.9 43.6 43.5 43.9 45.9 44.5 42.0 47.7 44.4 43.2
Race
White 44.2 45.2 47.7 51.0 47.5 53.9 52.1 47.6 51.6 47.5 49.3 51.1 51.6 49.0 48.9 51.0 46.4 47.6
Black 14.0 17.0 17.4 14.6 14.5 17.6 16.2 21.9 27.6 18.8 17.5 21.7 22.4 27.3 22.2 34.7 28.7 19.8
Hispanic 37.6 36.4 36.6 39.5
Parental Education1
Less than high school 31.6 27.3 28.2 28.0 33.1 27.0 40.6 29.0 39.5 29.1 36.8 33.3 33.4 42.2 34.2 39.9 36.0 38.3
Completed high school 33.8 33.8 34.0 37.1 36.7 44.9 41.6 38.0 41.0 36.9 33.7 44.6 42.2 39.9 36.2 42.4 38.1 38.3
Some college 36.7 40.7 41.7 44.6 41.2 44.3 43.9 40.8 45.7 42.2 40.7 42.5 42.0 42.2 45.6 43.2 42.3 42.9
Completed college 46.8 47.7 48.5 50.5 45.7 47.3 44.5 44.8 51.1 46.9 47.0 46.8 50.2 44.9 46.6 51.4 48.1 47.8
Graduate school 47.8 48.1 54.8 53.0 47.1 54.6 55.0 49.2 50.4 53.1 63.3 55.3 57.1 53.8 55.2 54.9 64.1 48.5
College Plans
None or under 4 years 33.2 32.3 37.5 38.8 39.5 44.6 43.1 39.2 37.7 37.9 37.0 43.1 40.5 34.1 40.9 41.3 40.5 37.0
Complete four years 40.8 42.2 42.8 45.0 41.8 45.5 45.4 41.8 47.7 43.1 45.4 45.5 46.3 45.8 44.5 46.7 46.1 44.3
1 Parental education is calculated by the Institute of Social Research as the average of the mother’s and father’s education. Child Trends has relabeled these results to reflect the education level of the most educated parent. In those circumstances where the gap between mothers’ and fathers’ education is more than one level, this results in an underestimate of the most educated parent’s education level.Source: Original analysis by Child Trends of Monitoring the Future data, 1991-2012.

 

Appendix 3 – Percentage of Eighth-, Tenth-, and Twelfth-Graders Watching Television Four or More Hours on the Average Weekday: Selected Years, 1991-2012

1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Eighth Grade 36.4 36.7 33.3 33.8 34.5 32.9 32.7 31.7 32.7 30.8 29.9 28.6 28.2 27.1 27.0 25.4 24.9 22.1
Gender
Male 38.3 38.3 35.5 36.5 37.2 35.8 34.3 33.8 34.8 31.8 30.6 28.5 28.5 28.0 26.7 26.5 24.9 23.1
Female 33.9 34.4 30.3 31.0 31.3 29.5 31.0 29.3 30.3 29.4 28.8 28.9 27.7 25.7 26.4 24.0 24.3 21.0
Race
White 30.0 27.4 24.4 24.5 24.7 23.3 22.2 22.2 24.2 23.7 22.0 19.9 19.9 18.1 17.6 16.4 17.4 15.1
Black 65.6 65.5 64.5 61.2 62.4 60.0 61.5 58.3 60.6 57.2 58.3 57.4 55.0 53.3 53.1 47.9 46.2 44.9
Hispanic 36.1 34.5 32.3 28.7
Parental Education1
Less than high school 46.4 43.9 44.6 43.8 43.3 42.0 41.4 45.3 42.3 41.9 42.7 39.7 37.2 36.4 34.2 36.9 36.8 31.3
Completed high school 41.4 42.7 36.3 39.0 38.0 37.2 36.8 35.9 37.8 37.4 36.4 35.1 32.6 32.7 30.7 28.9 31.5 27.0
Some college 36.6 36.3 34.1 34.9 35.0 32.5 32.1 31.7 33.6 30.8 30.1 28.5 29.1 26.9 28.4 26.7 24.2 23.7
Completed college 30.1 31.4 29.3 29.4 29.5 27.7 27.4 26.3 26.8 25.6 23.8 22.2 22.3 21.3 21.2 19.4 19.9 16.3
Graduate school 25.9 22.2 21.6 21.2 23.0 21.3 23.7 20.8 21.2 19.3 16.6 17.2 18.2 16.6 15.6 15.3 15.5 14.2
College Plans
None or under 4 years 41.2 41.2 39.6 40.4 39.8 41.7 37.1 41.6 39.0 38.3 38.1 35.4 33.0 33.6 33.3 31.6 32.2 30.9
Complete four years 35.1 35.5 31.8 32.6 33.5 31.3 31.7 30.4 31.4 29.9 28.6 27.8 27.5 25.9 25.8 24.5 23.9 21.5
(4 hours or more ) 1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Tenth Grade 28.2 24.8 24.2 26.6 24.8 24.1 23.1 26.4 26.3 24.5 24.4 21.8 23.3 22.8 20.6 21.1 21.2 19.5
Gender
Male 29.1 26.4 25.9 28.8 27.6 27.1 25.9 28.2 27.6 25.5 25.1 21.9 24.0 23.3 20.9 21.8 20.1 20.4
Female 26.9 22.9 22.2 24.1 22.2 20.9 20.1 24.1 24.5 23.2 23.1 21.2 22.2 22.1 19.9 20.2 22.0 18.2
Race
White 21.5 19.4 16.9 18.0 16.8 16.5 15.9 17.8 16.7 16.4 16.5 15.1 16.2 14.9 13.5 14.1 14.4 13.9
Black 59.3 55.1 53.1 54.6 55.2 54.1 54.0 53.0 53.2 53.6 51.7 52.4 50.4 49.5 42.5 44.8 45.0 41.4
Hispanic 24.8 29.3 28.8 27.2
Parental Education1
Less than high school 35.7 36.4 38.8 38.2 31.5 33.4 35.8 34.8 38.1 35.7 37.2 30.5 33.7 34.2 30.2 31.3 32.4 33.5
Completed high school 35.3 30.9 29.3 29.3 30.7 29.5 27.9 29.9 31.0 29.8 29.8 28.3 26.7 27.1 23.7 25.9 25.1 24.5
Some college 28.4 24.0 22.7 25.8 23.3 24.9 20.9 26.1 26.9 24.8 26.4 23.1 23.5 22.6 19.8 21.8 21.5 18.9
Completed college 22.0 19.2 17.8 22.7 21.2 18.1 18.3 22.0 20.6 20.2 18.3 16.1 19.4 17.7 15.9 15.4 15.8 15.7
Graduate school 15.9 13.8 13.6 15.7 15.0 14.3 13.3 15.6 14.3 12.8 13.6 11.9 14.7 13.9 12.5 11.6 13.3 10.7
College Plans
None or under 4 years 36.0 33.6 30.5 31.2 30.7 31.5 27.3 32.8 33.5 31.4 32.9 28.9 29.0 29.2 21.9 28.3 25.6 29.4
Complete four years 26.5 22.8 22.8 25.6 23.8 22.8 22.0 25.1 24.8 23.4 22.8 20.6 22.3 21.8 20.1 20.0 20.5 18.5
(4 hours or more ) 1991 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Twelfth Grade 22.8 19.3 21.6 19.7 19.5 20.1 20.6 20.0 19.5 21.1 19.5 19.6 18.4 20.0 19.5 18.7 19.6 19.8
Gender
Male 22.7 20.4 21.7 19.5 20.0 21.6 21.3 20.1 21.8 23.5 19.1 18.7 19.3 21.2 18.7 19.9 19.7 19.6
Female 22.2 17.8 20.5 18.4 18.0 18.1 19.3 19.7 16.6 17.3 19.2 19.6 17.2 18.1 19.9 17.5 18.5 19.8
Race
White 17.4 14.1 13.9 12.2 13.6 12.2 13.6 13.7 14.0 16.3 14.6 13.4 13.9 14.2 16.1 15.9 15.3 15.5
Black 47.3 42.4 47.2 49.9 48.9 46.5 47.7 40.9 38.0 43.1 38.9 37.1 35.6 40.1 33.2 31.1 34.7 39.1
Hispanic 21.0 19.0 21.4 23.3
Parental Education1
Less than high school 30.9 30.6 33.3 29.6 22.8 28.5 28.8 35.1 23.4 33.6 24.5 26.2 28.3 23.3 23.8 20.5 22.4 27.2
Completed high school 27.1 21.6 24.2 21.9 22.3 17.5 19.2 19.6 22.3 25.0 27.1 21.4 18.1 23.9 23.4 21.3 25.6 25.0
Some college 21.6 18.2 20.7 19.4 19.1 21.1 21.9 20.3 19.4 19.2 20.7 20.0 18.2 19.8 19.1 18.5 21.1 21.1
Completed college 16.8 14.7 15.6 16.5 18.5 19.8 20.5 18.6 15.6 18.2 13.9 17.0 15.6 15.7 15.4 15.9 15.0 13.8
Graduate school 12.4 12.8 16.5 8.6 13.7 15.1 12.2 10.5 13.3 13.1 9.7 12.9 12.3 15.6 14.4 13.3 7.8 13.5
College Plans
None or under 4 years 28.3 21.2 26.5 24.4 22.5 18.7 20.6 25.1 25.1 25.8 24.0 23.0 21.0 25.6 23.5 24.2 22.6 22.8
Complete four years 19.8 18.3 19.8 17.2 18.2 18.9 20.3 17.9 17.2 19.0 18.1 18.5 17.2 17.8 17.8 17.2 18.8 18.8
1 Parental education is calculated by the Institute of Social Research as the average of the mother’s and father’s education. Child Trends has relabeled these results to reflect the education level of the most educated parent. In those circumstances where the gap between mothers’ and fathers’ education is more than one level, this results in an underestimate of the most educated parent’s education level.Source: Original analysis by Child Trends of Monitoring the Future data, 1991-2012.


Endnotes


[i] The
definition of “excessive” or “extensive” varies from study to study. Some
define three or more hours daily as excessive, while others define it as at
least four hours daily or more.


[1]Kaiser Family Foundation. (2010). GENERATION M2: Media in the
lives of 8- to 18-year-olds
. Menlo Park, CA: Author from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf

[2]Ibid.

[3]Ibid.

[4]Campbell, J. R., Hombo, C. M., & Mazzeo, J.
(2000). NAEP 1999 trends in academic progress: Three decades of student
performance
[Electronic Version] Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for
Education Statistics from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2000469

[5]Ibid.

[6]Kaiser Family Foundation. (2010). Op cit.

[7]NAEP Data Explorer at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/. Students who watched up to six hours of television each day scored lower, on average, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2003 mathematics assessment than did students who watched no television.

[8]Beaton, A. E., Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Gonzalez, E. J., Kelly, D. L.,
& Smith, T. A. (1996). Mathematics achievement in the middle school
years: IEA’s Third International Mathematics and Science Study
(TIMSS)
[Electronic Version] Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS International Study Center from http://isc.bc.edu/timss1995i/TIMSSPDF/BMathAll.pdf.

[9]Mendelsohn, A. L., Berkule, S. B., Tomopoulos, S., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S.,
Huberman, H. S., Alvir, J., et al. (2008). Infant television and video exposure
associated with limited parent-child verbal interactions in low socioeconomic
status households. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 162(5),
411-417.

[10]Mbwana, K., & Moore, K. A. (2008).Parental involvement in middle
childhood: Can it protect children from harmful viewing habits and behavior
?
[Electronic Version] from https://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2008_09_18_FS_TVHabits.pdf

[11]Christakis, D. A., Zimmerman, E. J., DiGiuseppe, D. L., & McCarty, C. A.
(2004). Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in
children. Pediatrics, 113(4), 708-713.

[12]Johnson, J. G., Cohen, P., Kasen, S., First, M. B., & Brook, J. S. (2004).
Association between television viewing and sleep problems during adolescence
and early adulthood. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 158(6),
562-568.

[13]Pate, R. R., Heath, G. W., Dowda, M., & Trost, S. G. (1996). Associations
between physical activity and other health behaviors in a representative sample
of U.S. adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 86(11),
1577-1581.

[14]Page, R. M., & Hammermeister, J. (1996). Psychosocial and health-related
characteristics of adolescent television viewers. Child Study Journal, 26(4),
319-331.

[15]Kaiser Family Foundation. (2010). Op cit.

[16]Brown, B., & Marin, P. (2009). Adolescents and electronic media: Growing up plugged in [Electronic Version] Washington, DC: Child Trends Available at: https://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2009_05_26_RB_AdolElecMedia.pdf.

[17]Ibid.

[18]Bushman, B. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2001). Media violence and the American
public: Scientific facts versus media misinformation. American Psychologist,
56
(6/7), 477-489.

[19]Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C.-L.,
& Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal Relations Between Children’s Exposure to
TV Violence and Their Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Young Adulthood:
1977-1992. Developmental Psychology, 39(2), 201-221.

[20]Brook, D. W., Saar, N. S., & Brook, J. S. (2008). Earlier violent
television exposure and later drug dependence. American Journal of
Addiction, 17
, 271-277.

[21]Kaiser Family Foundation, Op. cit.

[22]Hispanics may be of any race. Estimates for black and white students in this report do not include Hispanics.

 

Suggested Citation:

Child Trends Databank. (2014). Watching television. Available at: https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=watching-television

 

Last updated: December 2014

 

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