“Parents who watch TV have children who watch TV.” (Anyone get this reference to the 1980s anti-drug PSAs?) A new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that the amount of time a parent spends watching TV each day influences the amount her/his child spends doing the same.
This finding seems rather obvious, but the details of the study are interesting in what they reveal about media use in average U.S. households with children. Here are some highlights, presented Harper’s Index-style:
4: The number of hours a typical parent spends watching TV every day
2.8: The number of hours a typical child spends watching TV every day
70: Percentage of parents who have a television in their bedroom
46: Percentage of children who have a television in their bedroom
3: Average number of televisions sets in a home
23: The increase (in minutes) in a child’s daily viewing time per 1 hour increase in a parent’s daily viewing time
47: Minutes by which parents underestimate their adolescents’ daily viewing time
Another interesting finding is that a parent’s TV viewing time is more strongly associated with a child’s viewing time than are limitations placed on the amount the child could watch. In other words, they tend to do as you do, and not as you say.