According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), children who watch more than the recommended amount of television have lower grades in school, read fewer books, exercise less, and tend to be overweight.
However, findings presented at a conference in Washington on Monday suggest only 30 percent of parents are heeding the AACAP's warnings.
A research team led by Ellen Wartella, Ph.D., professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, conducted a nationwide survey of 2,326 parents of children up to age eight, USA Today reported.
Families were grouped into three rankings: 45 percent media-moderate families in which the parents took in around five hours of media and children averaged three hours, 39 percent media-centric families in which media use took up 11 hours of the parents' day and 4.5 hours of the children's day, and 16 percent media-light families in which parents got no more than two hours of media a day and children less than 1.5 hours a day.
Data compiled from responding families revealed that 55 percent of parents were either "not too" or "not at all" concerned with children's media use as a source of family conflict. Although the majority of parents weren't convinced excessive television has a negative effect on their children's learning and creativity, most of the study's participants understood the hindrance media use can have on exercise.
A similar study lead by the Kaiser Family Foundation back in 2007 tracked how families view the role of media in their child's life. Out of all the issues depicted in today's media, around two-thirds of respondents to the Kaiser Family Foundation Survey reported feeling "very" concerned about the amount of sex-driven television content.
"I worry about sex...They grow up and see all this stuff on TV and feel it is expected of them. That terrifies me," stated one the study's participants.
Despite respondent's apprehension toward their children viewing sex in the media, only 18 percent of parents said their children's media use should be monitored more closely than it already is. Around 68 percent of parents said they personally monitor their children's media use effectively.