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J Pediatr. 2005 Oct;147(4):436-42.

Links between parents' and girls' television viewing behaviors: a longitudinal examination.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, State University of New York at Albany, Rensselaer, New York 12144, USA.



This longitudinal study examines links between parents' television (TV)-related parenting practices and their daughter's daily TV viewing hours.


Participants included 173 non-Hispanic white girls and their parents who were examined when girls were age 9 and 11 years. Girls' daily TV viewing hours, mothers' and fathers' daily TV viewing hours, parents' use of TV as a recreational activity, family TV co-viewing, and parents' restriction of girls' access to TV were assessed.


Approximately 40% of girls exceeded the TV-viewing recommendations (ie, < or =2 hours/day). Girls watched significantly more TV when their parents were high-volume TV viewers, relied heavily on TV as a recreational activity, watched TV with them, and failed to limit their access to TV. A parenting risk score was calculated by collapsing information across all parenting variables. In comparison with girls exposed to 1 or fewer parenting risk factors at age 9, girls exposed to 2 or more parenting risk factors were 5 to 10 times more likely to exceed TV viewing recommendations at age 9 and 11.


Efforts to reduce TV viewing among children should encourage parents to limit their own TV viewing, reduce family TV viewing time, and limit their children's access to TV.

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