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Identifying Family Television Practices to Reduce Children’s Television Time



The family system plays an important role in shaping children’s television use. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents limit screen time, given the risks associated with children’s heavy television viewing. Researchers have highlighted family television practices that may be effective for reducing children’s viewing, but more work is needed to identify which are most appropriate to communicate to families. Using cross-sectional data from parents of children aged 3–12 (n = 360), we confirmed a positive association between four television practices (background television, television during meals, bedroom television access, nighttime television viewing) and children’s time spent viewing. Findings for the moderating roles of race, parent education, and income provide valuable information for the design of television-reduction interventions. Most notably, results indicate that encouraging families to reduce their children’s nighttime television viewing is a promising direction for achieving healthier viewing amounts for children across developmental ages and demographic contexts.


  • Amy Bleakley
  • Michael Hennessy
  • Amy Jordan
  • Giridhar Mallya
  • Jessica Taylor Piotrowski