The Subversion of Free Play: A Study of the Impacts of Parental Philosophies and Socioeconomic Factors on Television Usage of Children
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An area less studied in examining the relationship between children and television is how parents understand and (potentially) mitigate their children’s exposure to media. This study examines how parental philosophies regarding media use as well as socioeconomic factors impact how much television their children consume. The current research evaluates responses from 100 parents of children (18 and under) through an anonymous, ten question online survey. This research applies Marshall McLuhan’s substantive theory, which holds that it is not the content on the television screen that is important, but rather the act of watching TV itself. The survey found that households with a high income or a single parent are more likely to have children who engage more heavily with media, and that children with parents who do not believe they are capable of entertaining themselves are more likely to be heavy television users.