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Media influences on preschool children’s health and the role of the parent – A literature review

Conference paper
Authors Gabriella Sandstig
Bengt Johansson
Published in NordMedia 2011 Conference in Akureyri, Iceland August 11th. to August 13th. 2011
Volume Theory, Philosophy and Ethics of Communication
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords Parental mediation, third-person effects hypothesis, preschool children, family, parents, health
Subject categories Social Sciences, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified


Due to a vastly changing media landscape with new users and usage of media the communicative patterns within the boundaries of family life are transforming. The aim of this extensive review was to investigate studies in peer-reviewed articles that examined the role of the parent’s in the influences that media can assert on preschool children’s (3–5 years) health. Terms and corresponding meanings searched: (media and influence and child) and (parent or health). Databases: ISI Web of Knowledge, EBSCO, Ncom and PubMed. Number of articles that met the criteria (research; peer-review; topic; age; language) for inclusion=46. Results: Media can influence preschool children’s aggressions, obesity, anti-social behaviour, materialism and cognitive skills. The parent can mainly prevent their children from harmful media content and their attitudes towards the media are of primary importance. Contribution is made to parental mediation research and the importance of attitudes by adding knowledge from third-person-effect research and behavioural consequences.

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