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Impact of Excessive Use of Electronic Medias on Children's Health

Question:

A case study of "Various adverse effects of television on the children of Australia in different parts on the country". 

Everything has its benefits and limitations; there are some benefits of children watching TV; it is a source of creative information. However, there are major limitations that result from children getting addicted to electronic Medias. These limitations will be stated in the problem statement and their intensity determined. The report will determine whether it is ethical to encourage children to watch TV or if they should be prevented from engaging with it.

The obsession of children towards electronic media has increased over the years, and thus, children spend most of their time with laptops, televisions or mobile phones. Due to the excessive amount of time the children spend with these electronic devices, some chronic diseases have been observed in them. Some of these diseases are eye disorder, obesity and much more to name. This research will, therefore, seek to proof that excessive use of electronic Medias, particularly TV causes adverse effects named above. It shall establish the age below which a child should not be involved in watching TV.

Electronic Medias are responsible for exposing children to violence. In the long-term, the likelihood of aggressive behavior of children is raised by a persistent viewing of violence (American Academy of Pediatric, 2001). Research tells us that, the behavior, feeling and attitude of children is influenced by their exposure to violence. Distress and fear are some of the issue children develop from the persistent viewing of violence (Krahé, 2016). Some are not able to overcome such disturbing minds, and it, therefore, haunt them for long.

Data will be collected based on the hours spent on watching TV, the performance in schools, the number of obesity children and those with eye disorders. Regression analysis will be carried out to show how useful the data information collected is. The hours of watching TV will be the independent variable, whereas, performance, obesity and children’s health will be the dependent variables. This mean that there will be several regressions carried out separately since we want to prove if the hours of watching TV has a significant contribution to these dependent variables.

Here the researchable problem is to investigate how harmful has the television, and other electronic devices are for the children living in Australia. We are interested to find out whether the health and mental condition of children have degraded over the years with the introduction of electronic devices (Healy, 2004 and Christakis, 2006). Grown-ups see and experience different things that children fail to when they watch television. By understanding these differences, adults are left with the choice of choosing the hours of watching TV for their children. While little children have no understanding of what is going on on the TV, they may be attracted to colors, sounds and the images they see. They take much effort in watching TV and they might at some point get depressed as they don’t have the knowledge to know when to stop and engage in some other activities.

Exposure to Violence through Electronic Medias

It has been under constant debate for parents to prevent their kids who are below the age of two years from watching TV (Griffiths & Machin, 2003 and Anderson & Pempek, 2005) Due to the advancements in technology and the stiff competition for TV producers; televisions are affordable to many Australian households. Due to this reason, children are born in homes where TV is of great priority. Researchers in the growth of young children have posed recommendation that children under the age of two years should refrain from watching TV basing their argument in that it has been identified to hinder the development of their brains (Barkham, 2009 and Schmidt et al., 2009)). Parents are introducing their kids to electronic media at very low ages; even a month after their birth. In Australia, time spent by young children on other activities is less as compared to the one spent in watching TV. The average hours of watching TV by the children under two years old in the United States is 1.2 hours per day. In Britain, older children are observed to spend more hours either watching TV or on playing online games.

Some children become very addicted to the electronic Medias such that they fully neglected other activities (Pine & Nash, 2002). Obesity is a major problem facing children who do not actively participate in physical activities. The other issue is that since children are not future oriented, they end up losing their ability to manage their study time. When children arrive home from school, they engage themselves in these electronic Medias instead of doing their homework. This has contributed to the low performance in Australian schools (Razel, 2001). Some researchers argue that playing is an essential activity among children as it raises their intellectual capability. Digital enhancement is hindering the participation of children in physical play among many children.

Many parents have a believe that a positive learning environment is offered when children watch Television (Jusoff and Sahimi, 2009). They believe that viewing TV could inculcate some certain skills in their children; for instance, they expect their vocabularies to improve (Certain, & Kahn, 2002). This is the reason for the increased proportion of children who has a television box in their rooms. 

1.2.1 General Objectives

This project’s general objective is to determine how the Australian Children are adversely affected by their obsession toward electronic media. It will compare the children who have been affected and their hours of involvement in electronic media.

  1. To determine whether the existence of a relationship between the time children spend on television and their health condition.
  2. To determine whether electronic media contribute to the low performance of children in learning institutions.
  3. To find out if excessive hours of watching TV by children has a significant contribution to their problem of obesity.
  4. To establish how the hours of watching TV has increased over time.
  5. To determine whether watching of television by children makes them good or bad (violent).

Answering the following questions will be the major aim of this business research proposal-

  1. Is there any relationship between the time children spend on television and their health condition?
  2. Is there any relationship between the time children spend on television and the percentage of marks they obtain in the exams?
  3. Do children become obese if they spend more time watching TV?
  4. Have the hours children spend on television increased over time?
  5. Does watching of television contribute to violence among children?

The Australian government’s guidelines draft noted that the amount of time spent by young children on screen, in turn, lowers their time for active play, time for social contact and the probability of their language development (Barkham, 2009). Their range of full eye movement development is affected and thus the length in which they can focus is reduced (Hogan, 2007).

It has been found out that there has been a significant degradation in the education of the urban children after the popularization of the televisions and mobile phones. There has also been an increased level of violence among children in schools and also in their homes (Ni Chang, 2000). The performance of children in school is measured in terms of the marks they score on their exams. Body Mass Index is an important measure to find out whether a person is obese or not. Even if he/she is obese, this measure tells us how greater is the excess fat present in the person.

Data Collection and Regression Analysis

Since this study will highlight the possible adverse effects of usage of electronic media, parents may use the study results to help them in ensuring that their children are not at most times using their free time on TV. Obesity is one of the major problem resulting from lack of enough physical exercise. Children who are obsessed with watching TV have no time for physical activities (Vandewater, Shim, & Caplovitz, 2004).

This research will help many parents in making decisions of the hours their children should spend on electronic media without causing them some adverse effects. Parents will also be able to know the various programs or Medias that are mostly addictive to children, and will, therefore, be able to minimize their accessibility. They will determine whether letting their kids have a TV in their rooms will benefit or adversely affect them. 

It is estimated that approximately 70 % of children in Australia have access to violent programs on televisions. Most of the children who make up the 70 % are observed to be those living in the urban areas. Most families that live in the rural areas have limited income to engage in various means of entertainments. Watching TV by children has limited benefits whereas the adverse effects are unlimited.

According to Anderson & Pempek (2005) and Wright et al., (2001), more television programs for young people are being produced, and this is causing a rise in the foreground television amount. In a survey of 100 parents carried out by Pierroutsakos, Hanna, Self, Lewis, & Brewer (2004), children below the age of two years were recorded to spend on average two hours daily watching TV.

The diagrammatic representation of the sales of television will be done with the help of a bar diagram. The relationship between hours spent on television and marks obtained will be found out by first considering the null hypothesis H0: there is no relationship between the two variables. We shall then carry out the suitable regression analysis on the data and shall draw valid conclusions. The relationship will be tested for a sign (positive and negative). We shall consider our level of significance to be 0.05 in this case. To find out the relationship between no. of hours spent on television and BMI, we shall carry out the same test discussed above. The relationship between violence and hours of watching TV will also be done using the same test.

If we reject the null hypothesis in the regression analysis of all cases (marks obtained, health, BMI, and violence), and we obtain a negative relation in the first case and second case, and a positive relation in the third and fourth case, we shall conclude that all the factors- violence, health, obesity and degradation of the children’s marks depend on the no. of hours they spend on television. The alternative hypothesis HA holds that there exist a relationship.

The data to be considered in this research will be collected on 100 children living in the Melbourne state of Australia. Parents of the chosen children will be interviewed on the hours their kids spend on TV. We annual exam marks and the Body Mass Index of these 100 children chosen will be tabulated. We shall record the sales of television over the last ten years; this will be obtained from secondary sources. The variables considered in this analysis are shortlisted below-

  1. The average no. of hours children spend on television.
  2. The body mass index of the children
  • The marks obtained by the children in their annual exam.
  1. The health of children
  2. Violent children

Research Problem: Harmful Effects of Electronic Devices on Children in Australia

Other variables other than the hours of watching TV will be used as dependent variables. The hours of watching TV is an independent variable which is argued to affect all the other variables. The health of children and is a Qualitative variable (i.e. a dummy dependent variable) where a value one is assigned if the child in healthy, and a value zero otherwise.

First, we shall try to investigate how the sale of television has changed over the years. This investigation can be done either with the help of diagrammatic representation or with suitable statistical analysis. The analysis shall help us to decide whether the sale has significantly increased over the years. We shall then proceed to investigate whether the marks or grades of a student truly depend on the hours they spend on television. This can be further done with the help of suitable statistical analyses. Our next investigation will be on the dependence of BMI on the hours spent on television. This investigation may be done with the help of suitable statistical analyses and would successfully determine whether television truly plays a role in increasing the obesity of children. We shall also consider the number of violent children and the contribution of hours of watching TV to this behavior. Finally, we may try to use graphical methods to find out how has the hours spent by children on television has changed (increased or decreased) over the years.

Scoping and Simplifying the Data

The data may be simplified in the following ways:

We shall take suitable transformations on the variables so that they strictly follow a Normal distribution.

Measurement of the Variables

All the above-mentioned variables except the children’s health are measured in metric scale and their unit is in hours. It will be assumed that the data provided to us will be near accurate and will provide us with sufficient information to tackle our problem.

Tolerable degree of Error

We shall consider an appropriate tolerable degree of error so that our results and conclusions will be very sensitive in nature and hence we shall choose a tolerable degree of around 5% for error in most of the cases. However, some of the cases may not require very sensitive conclusions and results, and hence we shall instead use a tolerable degree of 10% for the error. 

While the current study represents the first chapter of the project proposal, there will be other three more chapters, as the whole study is divided into four. The information covered here on the first chapter include; introduction to the research topic, the problem statement, a highlight of the objectives of the study (this is divided further into; general and specific objectives), the next part is the research questions derived from the specific objectives of the research project. Further the existence of the project has to be justified. After justification, the expected research outcomes will be underscored. The conceptual framework and the research hypothesis will be formulated. Finally, the methodology of how the research will be effected will be established. This is projected to be done in two weeks’ time.

Parents' Beliefs and Children's Learning Environment

The next chapter which is the second chapter will cover the various literature review on how children are adversely affected by their obsession toward electronic media. The information obtained from the works of various authors will help in supporting the problem stated for this research project. The empirical literature on this issue will also be covered in this second chapter. This is projected to be done in three weeks’ time. The third chapter will cover the methodology of this research. Here, the research design will be drawn, the study location will be defined, and the population and sample size will also be defined, the strategies used for sampling will be provided, the data collection procedure will be made clear, and finally the method of data analysis will be chosen This is projected to be done in one weeks’ time.

In the next chapter which will be the fourth and final chapter, the actual data collection will take place. The collected data will be analyzed.  The collection of data and analysis report will be due at the end of the 10th week. The result from the analysis will be interpreted. Conclusions will be made, and recommendations will be proposed. The final presentation of the business report thesis will be done in the 14th week. The time is clearly strategized in the Gantt chart provided.

Project’s Name

Various adverse effects of television on the children of Australia in different parts on the country.

Start Date

Finish Date

Task

2016

Week 1 & 2

Week 3-6

Week 7

Week 8 -10

Week 14

Task 1

Project Proposal

Task 2

Literature review

Task 3

Research Methodology

Task 4

Data Collection and Analysis Report

Task 5

Presentation of Final Business Report Thesis

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Children, Adolescents, and Television. Pediatrics, 107(2), 423-426.

Anderson, R. & Pempek, A. (2005). Television and Very Young Children. The American Behavioral Scientist, 48(5), 505-522.

Barkham, P. (2009). Television – not in front of the children?. [Online] the Guardian. 

Certain, L.K. & Kahn, R.S. (2002). Prevalence, Correlates, and Trajectory of Television Viewing Among Infants and Toddlers. Pediatrics, 109(4), 634-642.

Christakis, A. (2006). The Hidden and Potent Effects of Television Advertising. Journal of American Medical Association, 295(14), 1698-1699.

Griffiths, M. & Machin, D., (2003). Television and Playground Games as Part of children’s Symbolic Culture. Social Semantics, 13(2), 147-160.

Healy, M. (2004). Early Television Exposure and Subsequent Attention Problems in Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, 917-918.

Hogan, A. (2007). Is watching too much TV bad for kids' eyes? - Health & Wellbeing. 

Jusoff, K., and Sahimi, N. (2009). Television and Media Literacy in Young Children: Issues and Effects in Early Childhood. International Education Studies, 2(3).

Krahé, B. (2016). Violent Media Effects on Aggression: A Commentary from a Cross-Cultural Perspective. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, p.n/a-n/a.

Ni Chang. (2000). Reasoning with children About Violent Television Shows and Related Toys. Early Childhood Education Journal, 28(2), 85-89.

Notten, N., Kraaykamp, G., and Tolsma, J. (2013). Parents, Television and Children's Weight Status. Journal of Children and Media, 7(2), pp.235-252.

parliament.vic.gov.au, (2000). Inquiry into the effects of television and multimedia on children and families in Victoria. Melbourne, Vic.: Family and Community Development Committee.

Pine, J., & Nash, A. (2002). Dear Santa: The effects of television advertising on young children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26(6), 529-539.

Razel, M. (2001). The Complex Model of Television Viewing and Educational Achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 94, 6.

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[Accessed 25 February 2024].

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