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Chapter 17

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PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 17: Extrafamilial influences: television, Computers, Schools, and Peers Extrafamillial influences: social agencies other than the family that influence a child’s or an adolescent’s cognitive, social and emotional development  Effects of televisions on child development - Now, more than 98% of Canadian homes have one or more TV sets and children between ages 2-11 watch an average of 15.3 hours of TV a week - By age of 18, a child will have spent 20 000 hours or two full years, watching TV - Boys watch more TV than girls, and ethnic minority children living in poverty are especially likely to be heavy viewers - Children in town of Notel tested in higher in creativity and reading proficiency than did age-mates in comparable Canadian towns served by television. They also showed a decline in community involvement and increase in aggression and gender stereotyping  Development of television literacy Television literacy: a person’s ability to understand how information is conveyed in television programming and to interpret this information properly - Prior to age of 8-9; children process program content in a piecemeal fashion (likely captivated by zooms, cuts, fast-paced action, loud music and children’s voices) o These children tend to remember the actions that characters perform rather than the motives or goals that characters pursue and the events that shaped these goals o Younger than 7 year old do not fully grasp the fictional nature of television often believing that characters retain their roles - Comprehension of TV programming increases sharply from middle childhood throughout adolescence o Interpret production features that assist viewers in inferring character’s motives and connecting nonadjacent scenes o Able to draw inferences about scenes that are widely separated in time (a 10 year old might recognize the character’s deceptive intent and evaluate him negatively)  Some potentially undesirable effects of television  Effects of televised violence - Broadcast between 6am and 11pm; 58% contains repeated acts of overt aggression and 73% contains violence in which the perpetrator neither displayed any remorse nor received any penalty or criticism - Most violent TV programs are those intended for children; cartoons - 2/3 of the violent incidents in children’s programming are couched in humor Does TV violence instigate aggression? - Children who watch a lot of TV violence tend to be more hostile and aggressive than their classmates who watch little violence; positive relationship between exposure to TV violence and aggression behavior in natural settings has been documented ever and ever with elementary school boys and girls 1 - Longitudinal studies suggest that the link between TV violence and aggression is reciprocal: watching TV violence increases children’s aggressive tendencies which stimulates interest in violent programming which promotes further aggression Other effects of televised violence - Mean-world beliefs: a belief, fostered by televised violence, that the world is a more dangerous and frightening place than is actual the case - Desensitization hypothesis: the notion that people who watch a lot of media violence will become less aroused by aggression and more tolerant of violent and aggressive acts  Television as a source of social stereotypes - Gender-role stereotyping is common on television and children who watch a lot of commercial TV are likely to hold more traditional views of men and women than their classmates who watch little television - Can affect people’s self-esteem and concepts - Stereotyped views of minorities increased; 50% of white males played lead character roles and people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds ~16%  Children’s reactions to commercial messages - Younger children inclined to ask for things that they have seen on television, and conflicts may arise when parents refuse to buy these things (may be persistent) - They think that commercials are intended to be helpful and informative - By age 9-11; they understand that commercials are designed to persuade and sell and by the age of 13-14, they acquired a healthy skepticism about advertising and product claims  Television viewing and children’s health - Obese: a medial term describing individuals who are at least 20% above the ideal weight for their height, age, and sex (problem for heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes) o Hereditary predisposition and poor eating habits or not enough exercise - Strong predictor of obesity; amount of time children spend watching TV (+5 hours a day)  Reducing the harmful effects of television exposure - Monitor children’s home viewing habits to limit their exposure to highly violent or offensive programs and interest them in programs that are educational or prosocial - See table 17.2 for strategies of regulating children’s exposure to television (Goals: reducing the amount of TV viewing, limiting the effects of violent TV, counteracts negative values portrayed on TV and deal with the effects of TV advertising)  Television as an educational tool  Educational television and children’s prosocial behavior 2 - Sesame street; designed to teach prosocial activities (cooperation, sharing and comforting distressed friends) - May have few if any lasting benefits unless an adult monitors the programs and encourages children to rehearse and enact the prosocial lessons they have learned - Young children more likely to process and enact any prosocial lessons that portrayed when programming is free of violent acts that compete for their attention  Television as a contributor to cognitive development - 3-5 years old, Sesame Street attempts to foster important cognitive skills of disadvantaged backgrounds:  Counting, recognizing and discriminating numbers and letter, ordering and classifying objects and solving simple problems  Child development in the computer age  Computers in the classroom Computer assisted instruction (CAI): use of computers to teach new concepts and practice academic skills (1. drills that start at student’s current skill level and present increase difficult problems with hints when progress breaks down- may increase math and reading skills 2. Motivating games) - Computers tools of writing and communication skills - 2/3 use web for education purposes - Program a computer can foster mastery motivation and self-efficacy and promotes novel modes of thinking - Logo; computer language that allows children to translate drawings they’ve made into input statements so that they can reproduce their creations on the computer monitor (but children performed no better on achievement tests than age-mates in more usual kinds of academic exercises) - Logo users scored higher on tests of Piagetian concrete operational abilities, math problem solving strategies and creativity - Promotes thinking and associated with gains in metacognitive knowledge  Beyond the classroom: benefits of Internet exposure  Internet availability increase academic achievement  Social benefits of computer use; share more personal information  Health benefits of computer use; sexual matters and risk  Concerns about computer technology  Concerns about video games - Example: grand theft auto (may instigate aggression and cultivate aggression habits) - More than 80% of adolescents in British Colombia play video games occasionally, 50% less than 3 hours a week, 25% spent between 3-7 hours a week and remainder over 7 hours a week - Violent video games; involved in planning and performing aggressive acts and are reinforced for their successful symbolic violence 3  Concerns about social inequalities - Lacking skills required in our increasingly computer-dependent society - Economically disadvantaged families; children exposed to computers at school but not at home - Before, computers were more likely for guys but now girls enjoys to use them too  Concerns about Internet exposure (1) Concerns about pornography and sexual exploration: many teens and preteens visit sexually explicit web sites that require no verification of legal age for entry. Data available reveals disturbing impacts on sexual attitudes (can view sex has a physical, recreational activity that requires little affections and be more aggressive towards women and accept premarital and extramarital sex) (2) Other concerns about internal exposure: toll for cults and hate organizations. Online bullying more common and have psychological affects on victims, children exposed to deceptive advertising practices online and some people use internet to contact with strangers as their primary means of socializing o To address concerns; learn the technology, place computers in rooms the family frequents, plan family activities in advance and include your teen, limit you teen’s online time and monitor online activities  School as a socialization agent Informal curriculum: noncurricular objectives of schooling, such as teaching children to cooperate, to respect authority, to obey rules and to become good citizens  Determinants of effective schooling  Factors that contribute to effective schooling 1. Composition of student body: effectiveness of school is a function of characteristics of the children who attend the school. Average academic achievement lowest in schools with economically disadvantages students and will make more progress if thought with a higher concentration of motivated peers 2. School climate: if school is safe and feel supported; will affects the school’s effectiveness (feel more engaged in school- less emotional problems and better academically achievement) 3. The scholastic atmosphere of successful schools (1) Academic emphasis: regularly assigned homework, which is checked, corrected and discussed with them (2) Challenging developmentally appropriate curricula: relate to because it emphasizes their culture and history, developmental issues they are facing and promoting achievement related behaviors (efforts, attention, attendance an appropriate behavior) (3) Classroom management: in effective schools; spend less time getting actives started or dealing with problems; lessons start and end on time. Child is told what is expected of them, environment comfortable. 4 (4) Discipline: in effective school; staff is firm when enforcing rules and does on the spot, rare that they use physical sanctions, well behaved children who make their won decisions experience a strong sense of self-efficacy and supports academic success (5) Teamwork: effective schools; faculties work as a team  The goodness of fit between students and schools Aptitude-treatment interactions (ATI): phenomenon whereby characteristics of the student and of the school environment interact to affect student outcomes, such that any given educational practice may be effective with some students but not with others - No philosophy of education or teaching method - Many approach to education may be effective in some but in others it isn’t; find appropriate fit between learner and educational practices - Sensitive to students’ cultural traditions  Do our schools meet the needs of all of our children?  Educational experiences of ethnic minorities (1) Parental attitudes and involvement: minority parent more likely to appreciate the value of homework, longer school day, but are less knowledgeable about and less involved in school activities- when they are involved, child feel more confident (2) Interfacing parent and peer influences: academic success associated with authoritative parenting, Latino American pa
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