How Do Young Children Spend Their Time? Television Viewing Habits in Children Younger than One Year and Parental Limits on Television Exposure within a Literacy Promotion Sample
Rosina Avila Connelly, Teresa K. Duryea*, Xuan G. Tran**, Angelo P. Giardino**
Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, *Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, **Manager, Health Services Research and CME, Texas Children`s Health Plan, Houston, Texas
Abstract

Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises no television (TV) for children before 2 years of age. Despite pediatric providers providing anticipatory guidance about parent-child interaction in the first year of life, young children watch TV daily. While Hispanic children have been found to watch more television, other parental-related factors may affect their young children's television exposure.

Objectives: 1) Determine leisure activities including TV viewing habits of children younger than 1 year of age who attended a literacy promotion clinic. 2) Compare TV viewing to other infant leisure activities, including reading 3) Determine parental limits on TV exposure.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of data from a cohort study related to literacy promotion. Parents reported child's TV viewing habits, favorite TV shows, and their limits on TV exposure. Comparisons made between Hispanic and non-Hispanic children.

Results: A total of 252 children were selected for this analysis with mean age of 10.3 ± 1.5 months. Of these, 70 (52%) were male and 118 (47%) were Hispanic. One hundred fifty nine (63%) children watched TV daily with mean hours of 1.1 ± 2 per day with no differences between groups. Only 88 (35%) parents reported TV watching as a leisure activity; of these, 33 (37%) were Hispanic compared to 55 (63%) of non-Hispanic origin (p=0.03). A total of 151 (66%) of parents limited type of shows; only 93 (37%) had limited time, with no differences between groups.

Conclusions: Young children watched television daily. In our sample, ethnicity was associated with increased report of TV viewing as a leisure activity, but did not seem to have an association with time of exposure or parental limits on TV exposure.

Key words: children, Hispanic, television viewing, parental limits

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