Technology and Mass Media

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  • AZMedia is a subject impossible to ignore, especially when discussing children and adolescents. Youth spend more time with media than they do on any other activity except for sleeping—an average of 7+ hours/dayAlso, The vastmajority of youth has access to a bedroom television, computer, theInternet, a video-game console, and a cell phone.Other important statistics reveal that old 75% of students ages 11-16 years old played games at home, 24% playedgames every day, and over 60% spent time in anticipation of playing. 97% of adolescents play video games. 93% are online and 71% have a cell phone.
  • AZThis graph shows media use among 8-18 years olds.As we can see, television remainsthe dominant medium, withtelevision watching at an all-time high inthe United States. However, these patterns will probably change within next few years as technology tools advance and evolve.
  • AZThis next graph illustrates the average amount of time youth spends with each medium, stratified by age group/11-14 year olds for the most part seem to be the heaviest users of media. This is an important pattern, since at this age youth can be especially malleable cognitively. It is also interesting to see that print is the only medium where younger people display a heavier use.
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  • AZObservational Learning Theory is often mentioned in the context of media. Children and adolescents mimic what they see and acquire complicated scripts for behaviors, beliefs about the world, and moral precepts about how to behave from what they observe. Such learning is especially likely to happen when observed behaviors seem realistic or rewarded.Superpeer theory has been also used in the discussion about media. It states that media serves as powerful best friends which make risky behaviors seem more normative to the youth.Violence – is an important aspect of this discourse since By the age of 18, the average adolescent will have seen an estimated 200 000 acts of violence on television alone. When we add video games and internet, these numbers are hard to imagine.adolescents in many studies displayed preference for violent video games. One study reported that violence occupied 50% of video game playing time. Some researchers suggested that playing violent video games can decrease empathy for victims of violence and increase in violent behaviors through normalization of violence. New and not well research media, such as internet with its social networks creates potential for other forms of violence such as cyber bullying. Overall it is not to say that violent video games determine violent behavior, but there is strong evidence to support the claim that they do increase the risk for violence. This does not diminish the concern we should have about violent video games as a public health threat. Some researchers compare this exposure to cigarette smoke or lead-paint: not everybody exposed will develop adverse outcomes, but the risk is substantially increased.When it comes to sexual messages, It has been proven that teenager shows have more of sexual content than the adult-oriented shows. Modest but significant association has been found between exposure to sexual content in media and early sexual initiation, which brings us back to the superpeer theory. Finally, studies had shown that high alcohol and drug content of various media has significant effects on young people. Substance abuse can become normative, for instance, Recent studies of social networking sites have found that substance abuse is referenced in 40% of the profiles.
  • 2. The role of media is also substantial in the development of eating disorders. Media popularize unrealistic body images. There has been an interesting natural field experiment in Fiji revealed that the prevalence of eating disorders increased dramatically after the introduction of American television programs which show excessively thin female characters. On the other hand, the internet contains numerous pro-anorexia sites which disseminate advice on purging methods, and so on.3. Viewing television and playing video games are both associated with increased subsequent attention problems in childhood.It seems that a similar association among television, video games, and attention problems exists in late adolescence and earlyadulthood. Some studies showed link between video game use and ADHD diagnoses. Although effect size is not very large, it is still of a public health concern, considering the ubiquity of television, video games and other media. 4.finally, School performance can be affected by heavy use of media. For instance video games addiction was strongly correlated with lower academic achievement. School performance can be affected in both ways – by taking away time that could have been spent on homework and by affecting a young person cognitively.
  • Aside from affecting behaviors and beliefs, media can also influence person’s physical health in a negative way.For example, One found that thegames did impact sight.Heavy TV viewing has been associated with multiple physical health problems, such as the ones listed on the slide. Obesity is an important negative health effect resulting from frequent media use. Children and adolescents see 4400 –7600 of food ads of junk food per year. It has been proven that such advertisement has an effect on eating habits and food preferences. It is suspected that with increasing access to internet, youth will be exposed to even a larger number of food advertisements. Finally, Eating while viewing is also a problem, since people consume more food while watching TV. Another issue is decreased physical activity due to more time spent on media use.
  • Help increase sitting tolerance for back pain sufferers Help children during cancer chemotherapy Children undergoing sickle cell disease TherapeuticPromote and increase arm reach in persons with traumatic brain injury Also been reported in wheelchair users, burn victims, and muscular dystrophy sufferers


  • 1. Technology and Mass Media
    The learning tool of the future or quintessence of evil?
  • 2.
  • 3. Background – Health News
    Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom – New York Times
    Violent Video Games Touted as Learning Tool –
    Doctors Treat Vision Problem With Video Games – abc News
    Med students: Give us video games – cnet News
  • 4. Background – Health News
    Teen Internet addicts more likely to develop depression –
    Do video games cause attention problems in kids? - Pediatrics, online
    Too much TV, video games can threaten attention span – USA Today
    Do Video Games Cause ADHD? 3 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe – U.S. News
    Violent Video Games May Increase Aggression in Some But Not Others -
  • 5. Video: Games Theory
  • 6. In this presentation
    Why is it important to have a good understanding of technology tools, such as videogames and internet?
    How technology use can be beneficial when used as a learning aid?
    What are the possible harms?
    What are the implications for health education and program planning?
  • 7. Facts
    Youth spends more than 7 hours a day using
    technology tools
    Numbers on children and adolescent (2005)
    two thirds of had a television set
    one half had a VCR or DVD player or video-game console
    nearly one third had Internet access or a computer
    Patterns of use
    97% of adolescents reporting that they play video games on the computer, Web, handheld device, or console
    93% of youth aged 12 to 17 are on-line
    71% have a cell phone
  • 8. Media use according to platform
  • 9. Differences in media use according to age
  • 10. Challenge
    Visual media can be used as innovative learning tools, or ways to disseminate health information
    BUT what are the tradeoffs? What are the dangers of using technology and media?
    President Barack Obama recently identified the creation of good educational software as one of the "grand challenges for American innovation"
  • 11. Potential harms of media use
    Negative influence on beliefs and behaviors (Observational Theory and Superpeer theory)
    Substance use
    “True, media violence is not likely to turn an otherwise fine child into a violent criminal. But, just as every cigarette one smokes increases a little bit the likelihood of a lung tumor someday, every violent show one watches increases just a little bit the likelihood of behaving more aggressively in some situation.”
    Psychologists Brad Bushman and L. Rowell Huesmann
  • 12. Potential harms, cont.
    Eating disorders
    Developmental concerns
    School performance and learning problems
  • 13. Potential harms, cont.
    Physical issues
    Video games can affect sight
    Heavy TV viewing has been associated with:
    Increased prevalence of asthma
    Sleep disorders
    Mood disorders
    Decreased physical activity
    Media food marketing
  • 14. Potential benefits of media use
    • Videogames
    • 15. “Distractor” in pain management
    • 16. Therapeutic
    • 17. Rehabilitation Aid
    • 18. Development of:
    • 19. Social skills
    • 20. Spatial abilities
    • 21. Problem-solving exercises
    • 22. Mathematical ability
    • 23. Increased Energy Expenditure
  • Potential benefits of media use, cont.
    Mass Media
    • Prosocial Effects
    • 24. Learn antiviolence attitudes
    • 25. Empathy
    • 26. Tolerance toward people of differing
    race, ethnicity, and age
    • Important message embedded
    into TV shows
  • 27. Stakeholders
    Entertainment Industry
    Advertising Industry
  • 28. Implications for Researchers
    Current Research
    Mainly focuses on television use
    Mainly cross-sectional studies
    To improve research
    Include other forms of media,
    such as cell phones, video games,
    internet, social networking
    Also, studies should examine the
    use of multiple forms of media
  • 29. Implications for Parents
    Parents often lack awareness on:
    Child’s time of media use
    Content of media they are using
    “Third-person” effect
    Not my child
    In 1999: 57% of parents knew about
    the video games their kids were playing
    In 2006: 33%
  • 30. Implications for Parents
    To prevent addiction:
    Awareness of the content of the media
    Interact with children while they are using said media
    Accompany child when purchasing games or programs
    Find alternative sources for leisure activity
    Discuss negative and positive
    implications of different forms of media
  • 31. Implications for Schools/Teachers
    School can promote the beneficial aspects of technology and teach children how to use in a positive manner
    Some suggestions to improve utilization of technology
    Talk about media addiction
    Make gaming and technology
    use interactive
    Promote social activities
    Encourage other leisure time
    activities and multiple interests
    Reward for good
    performance on educational
    games and technology uses
  • 32. Suggestions for Program Planning
    When deciding to use interactive devices, consider:
    Educational or therapeutic objective
    Type of game
    Required level and nature of involvement
    Information and rules
    The role of luck
    Participant age and characteristics
    Number of players
    Facilitator's role
  • 33. Current Health Promotion Programs
    Body Awareness Resource Network (BARN): kids apply health information in a nonjudgmental hypothetical situation
    Based catharsis theory
    Vicksburg Mississippi
    Medical Center uses
    videogames to introduce
    heart problems to people
    30% of people ask for more
    information from the hospital
  • 34. References
    Chang, T. and Chen, W. (2009). Effect of computer-based games on children: an experimental study. Educational Technology and Society 12 (2): 1-10
    Chiu, S., Lee, I. J., Huang, D. (2004). Video game addiction in children and teenagers in Taiwan. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 7(5), 571-
    Dorman. (2007). Video and computer games: effect on children and implications for health education. Journal of School Health 67 (4).
    Griffiths, M. Can Videogames be Good for Your Health?. Journal Of Health Psychology. 2004:339-344
    Graf, D., Pratt, L., Hester, C., Short, K. Playing Active Video Games Increases Energy Expenditure in Children. Pediatrics. 2009:534-540
    Hoffman, B., and Nadelson, L. (2010). Motivational engagement and video gaming: a mixed methods study. Education Tech Research Development 58: 245-270.
    Kearney, P., Pivec, M. (2007). Sex, lies and video games. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(3), 489–501.
    Skoric, M.M., Chang, L.L, and Neo, R.L. (2009). Children and video games: addiction, engagement, and scholastic achievement. CyberPsychology and Behavior 12 (5): 567-571.
    Strasburger, V. C., Jordan, A. B., & Donnerstein, E. (2010). Health effects of media on children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 125, 756-767.
  • 35. Questions
    Do you think more funding should go to researching media and why?
    How integrated should media be in program planning or education?
    What do you think are possible benefits/ threats of the newly emerging technologies, not mentioned in this presentation?
    How big of a role do you think media
    will play in the health education
    programs of the future?