Kids Spend 7.5 Hours Per Day on 'Entertainment Media'
Kaiser Family Foundation study has some disturbing findings, but it's important to put the study into a broader context
A new Kaiser Family Foundation study about kids’ use of media has some startling implications.
It found that “entertainment media” use among children and teens is up dramatically from five years ago. It also found that about 70 percent of youth say their families have no rules about how much time they can spend with TV, video games or computers.
I have to admit I was a bit disturbed after poring through the 85-page report. But it’s important to put this study into a broader context of how kids use media and how kids manage risk.
Kids today spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming what the report calls “entertainment media.” But it gets worse. If you consider that kids are multi-tasking, it’s actually closer to 11 hours. That’s nearly every minute of every day when kids aren’t in school or sleeping.
The report, “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds,” compares data from 2009 to similar studies done in 2004 and 1999.
The study found that kids who are heavy media users get lower grades. There was no cause and effect stated, but Kaiser found that 47 percent of heavy media users “say they usually get fair or poor grades (mostly Cs or lower),” compared to 23 percent of light users.
It also found that black and Hispanic youth spend far more time with media than white youth. Black and Hispanic children consume nearly 4½ hours more media daily (13 hours, compared to 8 hours and 36 minutes for whites). TV viewing accounts for a lot of the difference. Black children spend nearly 6 hours and Hispanics just under 5½ hours watching TV, compared to roughly 3½ hours a day for white youth, the report said.
Watching regular old TV actually declined by 25 minutes a day since 2004. But when you add in TV consumption online and on cell phones, it went up.
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