Media Influence On Child Development

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During middle childhood, children are various shapes and sizes, all developing at a different pace (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2013). Throughout their development, various forms of media have a strong influence on their life. One major source of media that has an influence on development during middle childhood is television (T.V.). The amount of time children spend watching T.V. may also alter study habits, sleeping patterns, eating habits, and change their leisure activities (Hofferth, 2010). T.V. can directly affect the cognitive, physical, and psychosocial development as a child ages. One major influence absorbed on a daily basis by most children that effects their development during this stage is T.V. Messages that come across the screen communicate powerful views that may shape a young child’s perceptions about the world. A study conducted on middle childhood concluded how much of a powerful influence T.V. has on delayed development in verbal skills and the decline in effort a child applies to academics (Coll & Szalacha, 2004). The type of program a child watches on T.V. also influences their cognitive functioning. A cartoon or action-packed program leads to more impulsive decisions and less analytic thinking. The period of middle childhood is a detrimental time where media influence can affect a child’s development the most. A minority child’s self-esteem may decrease if they see someone on T.V. that shares their ethnic background, being portrayed as someone

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