Links between parents' and girls' television viewing behaviors: A longitudinal examination

  • Davison K
  • Francis L
  • Birch L
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Objective: This longitudinal study examines links between parents' television (TV)-related parenting practices and their daughter's daily TV viewing hours. Study design: Participants included 173 non-Hispanic white girls and their parents who were examined when girls were age 9 and 11 years. Girls' daily TV viewing hours, mothers' and fathers' daily TV viewing hours, parents' use of TV as a recreational activity, family TV co-viewing, and parents' restriction of girls' access to TV were assessed. Results: Approximately 40% of girls exceeded the TV-viewing recommendations (ie, ≤2 hours/day). Girls watched significantly more TV when their parents were high-volume TV viewers, relied heavily on TV as a recreational activity, watched TV with them, and failed to limit their access to TV. A parenting risk score was calculated by collapsing information across all parenting variables. In comparison with girls exposed to 1 or fewer parenting risk factors at age 9, girls exposed to 2 or more parenting risk factors were 5 to 10 times more likely to exceed TV viewing recommendations at age 9 and 11. Conclusions: Efforts to reduce TV viewing among children should encourage parents to limit their own TV viewing, reduce family TV viewing time, and limit their children's access to TV. Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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