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Former APPC Postdoctoral Fellow published in the Journal of Family Issues

Former APPC Postdoctoral Fellow Cortney Evans, Ph.D., is the lead author of a forthcoming article, “Only Two Hours? A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Parents Perceive in Restricting Child Television Time,” which will appear in the Journal of Family Issues (September 2011). Dr. Evans’ co-authors are APPC Media and Developing Child Area Director Amy Jordan, Ph.D., and Annenberg School for Communication alumna Jennifer Horner, Ph.D.

Article abstract:
This study examines parents’ and children’s reaction to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to limit children’s television (TV) viewing to 2 hours a day or less. To better understand the challenges faced by parents who would seek to adhere to the guidelines, we conducted qualitative small group interviews with 60 parent/child dyads from each of the following three age groups: 6 to 7, 9 to 10, and 12 to 13 years (N = 180 children and 180 parents). Parents and children were interviewed separately and transcripts were thematically analyzed using Atlas.ti. Results indicate three salient challenges: (a) limiting children’s TV time will cause conflict in the home because of children’s anger at parents’ rules and increased bickering between siblings; (b) replacing TV as an entertainer takes time away from parents and requires monetary and community resources that are not available; and (c) TV is seen as a beneficial presence in the home, offering entertainment, free babysitting, and educational opportunities.