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Is there an app for that: Parenting style influences on children's media exposure

13 June 2014


The world of electronic media has become the near-omnipresent influence on children. On average, American youth are exposed to eight hours of media per day. Additionally, media influence has crossed socio-economic factors so that children of all backgrounds are having similar exposure. This ever-growing influence has been found to have both positive and negative influences dependent upon the amount of exposure and more importantly the type of content. Past research has examined the effects of media on children’s development or the importance of particular parenting styles on child development; however, few studies have connected the two topics. The present study further examines the relationship between parenting style and children’s media exposure. Male and female child participants from grades fourth through twelfth, along with their parents, completed online surveys. Child participants filled out a revised Parenting Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) that determined into what style of parenting their parents fit. Parent participants filled out the Child Media Exposure Questionnaire-Individual Parent (CMEQ-IP), which determined their children’s exposure to media outlets (i.e., television/movies, video games, Internet, electronic music devices, and cell phones) and how they monitored their children’s media exposure. The findings of this study highlights the importance of not only authoritative parenting style on children’s development (i.e., media exposure) but more significantly how parents who share parenting styles have a more positive influence on their children’s media exposure when compared to parents who have incongruent styles of parenting.


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