Media Rules and Problematic Media Use

Media Guidelines and Problematic Media Use


This put up was co-authored by Jane Shawcroft, a grasp’s pupil in Marriage, Household, and Human Growth at Brigham Younger College. She research media and parenting, and the impact of media on youngsters’s gender stereotypes.

Vidal Balielo Jr./Pexels

Supply: Vidal Balielo Jr./Pexels

Mother and father are sometimes involved concerning the potential unfavorable results of media on their youngsters. Fashionable media tends to vilify media use, claiming that media is chargeable for the psychological well being disaster in adolescence and younger adults, and that media use hurts youngsters’s growth.

As a result of it’s true that media might be good (thanks FaceTime) or unhealthy (infinite TV) for youngsters, mother and father at this time face the difficult job of determining how they’ll guardian round know-how and media use from a younger age.

As a result of mother and father didn’t develop up with the identical entry to media that their youngsters have, that is uncharted territory for a lot of new mother and father. This uncertainty has led to some variation within the types utilized by mother and father to manage media utilization of their youngsters.

Some mother and father imagine excessive restrictions, corresponding to limitations on time spent and content material seen, are the perfect strategy (Coyne et al., 2017). Different mother and father take a hands-off strategy. They might really feel overwhelmed or that they’re combating a shedding battle to limit their youngsters’s media use (Lo et al., 2020).

These variations in parenting approaches in direction of media use replicate a necessity for folks to raised perceive how they’ll construction their younger youngsters’s media use in a method that may assist assist their kid’s wholesome growth. Most mother and father report that they need to construction their youngsters’s media use, however many have no idea how one can greatest go about it.

Our Knowledge

To assist us perceive additional how mother and father are creating guidelines round media use, and the way they have an effect on youngsters’s media use and media dependence, we checked out information from Mission M.E.D.I.A., a longitudinal research exploring youngsters’s growth in our media saturated world.

Anticipating Mother and father- Issues and Plans

Anticipating mother and father (mother and father who have been pregnant) in Mission M.E.D.I.A shared comparable issues to folks in earlier research but additionally reported that media might be helpful when there was academic content material.

Jane Shawcroft

Anticipating Mother and father- Issues about Media Use

Supply: Jane Shawcroft

Virtually all anticipating mother and father stated that they have been planning on creating guidelines round their youngsters’s media use, particularly about how a lot time youngsters may spend utilizing media, what content material youngsters may work together with or view, and what gadgets youngsters may use.

Jane Shawcroft

Anticipating Mother and father- Plans for Media Guidelines

Supply: Jane Shawcroft

Mother and father of Toddlers: Guidelines and Media Time

Three years later, the vast majority of mother and father stated that that they had guidelines round what content material their youngsters may watch and the way a lot time their youngster may watch TV. Nevertheless, lower than half of oldsters of 3-year-olds stated that that they had guidelines round how a lot time their youngster may play video games on their pill.

Jane Shawcroft

Mother and father of Toddlers- Guidelines and Media Time

Supply: Jane Shawcroft

Guidelines Round Media and Problematic Media Use

Most mother and father create guidelines round their youngsters’s media use as a result of they need to assist their youngsters develop a wholesome relationship with media, so, we examined if guidelines mother and father had about their youngsters’s media use have been related to ranges of media dependence. We discovered there was not a significant relationship between mother and father merely having guidelines round media use and youngsters’s media dependence. Nevertheless, there was a significant relationship for time youngsters spent enjoying with a pill.

Whereas having guidelines round youngsters’s media use was circuitously linked to youngsters’s stage of media dependence, it’s potential that oldsters who’ve/implement guidelines round their youngsters’s media use have youngsters who use much less media (particularly utilizing their pill much less). It’s possible that the foundations that oldsters create round their youngsters’s media use not directly defend youngsters from creating media dependence.


Most mother and father are involved about their youngsters’s media use, and the vast majority of mother and father of 3-year-olds have some kind of guidelines round what kind and the way a lot media their youngster consumes.

It’s attention-grabbing that solely 44.5% of oldsters of 3-year-olds reported that that they had guidelines round how a lot time their youngster spent utilizing a pill, but the one significant predictor of kids’s problematic media use we examined was the period of time youngsters spent utilizing tablets. There are two potential methods to consider this discovering. First, it’s potential that as a result of extra mother and father have guidelines round how a lot time youngsters spend watching tv, TV time performs much less of a job in youngsters creating media dependence. It’s also potential that tablets might play a bigger function in youngsters’s media dependence as a result of they’re small handheld gadgets, and may isolate youngsters extra when they’re utilizing them than TV. Nevertheless, the character of tablets may additionally make them tougher to guardian and implement guidelines round.

As well as, there was considerably of a niche between the proportion of anticipating mother and father who stated they have been planning on creating guidelines round what media content material, and the way a lot time they may spend utilizing media, and the proportion of oldsters who really had guidelines round their youngsters’s media use at age three. Mother and father at this time have numerous completely different stressors, and media is so prevalent that it may be troublesome for folks to manage or really feel like they’ll make any distinction in how a lot their youngster makes use of media.

Based mostly on our information and different analysis, we recommend that oldsters focus their media parenting with younger youngsters on limiting the time their youngsters spend with numerous varieties of media, significantly tablets, as they appear to be a type of media carefully linked to youngsters’s media dependence. This suggestion is primarily motivated by the decrease ranges of oldsters who reported having guidelines round youngsters’s pill use, regardless of a lot larger charges of guidelines round TV and content material. As many youngsters use tablets to have interaction with media, this is a vital blind spot for folks to observe for. Whereas mother and father are involved about media use, typically questioning how one can greatest assist their youngster, studying extra about how creating guidelines and construction round youngsters’s media use will assist mother and father really feel like they’ve the data and instruments to be essentially the most succesful mother and father potential.


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