Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 749–756 | Cite as

Television Viewing and Televisions in Bedrooms: Perceptions of Racial/Ethnic Minority Parents of Young Children

  • Jess Haines
  • Ashley O’Brien
  • Julia McDonald
  • Roberta E. Goldman
  • Marie Evans-Schmidt
  • Sarah Price
  • Stacy King
  • Bettylou Sherry
  • Elsie M. Taveras
Original Paper


Understanding parents’ perceptions of their young children’s viewing behaviors and environments is critical to the development of effective television reduction interventions. To explore parents’ attitudes, perceptions, and experiences regarding their children’s television viewing and the use of televisions in their children’s bedrooms, we conducted focus groups with 74 racial/ethnic minority parents of children aged birth to 5 years. We analyzed transcripts of the focus group discussions using immersion-crystallization. Over 50 % of parents reported that their children watch more than 2 h of television per day and 64 % reported that their children have a television in their bedrooms. In general, parents were unconcerned about the amount of television their children watched. However, parents did express concern about the content of their children’s viewing. Discussion of potential harmful effects of television viewing focused mainly on the impact television viewing may have on children’s behavior and academic outcomes and only rarely on a concern about weight. Most parents were unaware of adverse consequences associated with children having a television in their bedroom and many reported that having a television in their child’s bedroom helped keep their child occupied. To effectively engage parents of young children, television reduction interventions should include messages that address parents’ key concerns regarding their children’s viewing and should provide parents with alternative activities to keep children occupied.


Television Children Qualitative methods 



This work was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CCDPH) (Prevention Research Centers Grants, 1U48DP00194). The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jess Haines
    • 1
  • Ashley O’Brien
    • 2
  • Julia McDonald
    • 2
  • Roberta E. Goldman
    • 3
    • 4
  • Marie Evans-Schmidt
    • 5
  • Sarah Price
    • 2
  • Stacy King
    • 6
  • Bettylou Sherry
    • 7
  • Elsie M. Taveras
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family Relations and Applied NutritionUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population MedicineHarvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health CareBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineWarren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  5. 5.Center for Media and Child HealthChildren’s Hospital BostonBostonUSA
  6. 6.Cambridge Health AllianceCambridgeUSA
  7. 7.Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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