TELEVISION IN THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN by

TELEVISION IN THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book is the result of a three year research study based on 10 communities in the U.S. and Canada, 6000 children, 2000 parents, 300 educators, and utilizing other professional opinions and findings. Over and above the excellence of its presentation, it is the first general book on a subject which has occasioned much concern and disagreement. Does television debase, distort, addict, purvey violence, sedate or educate? The opening overall conclusion here is that to most children, most television is neither particularly harmful nor particularly beneficial. If this seems unsatisfyingly vague, it is because the answer depends not on what television brings to children, but what children bring to television. More specifically- the survey shows that the typical child spends 3 to 4 hours watching- a time previously devoted primarily to radio and comics. As well as how much, the study shows when, by whom, what. Most children in the early years watch for vicarious excitement, for fantasy gratifications which diminish in the later years. The bright child derives more from it (and benefits) in the early years, later swings towards ""high print, low TV behavior"" (but not necessarily educational television). Learning from television is largely ""incidental""; it does not influence the child's social relationships; and there is a general consideration of its psychological and physical effects which establish that television is largely damaging in cases where there is a pre-existing disturbance.... For the many parents, and educators, concerned with the influence of this latest mass medium on their picture-tube children, this is an enlightening, forceful and substaniated report. There will be strong publisher promotion.

Publisher: Stanford University Press