Few studies have examined maternal characteristics associated with heavy or inappropriate television viewing on the part of their children. We investigated the relationship between children's television viewing habits and maternal depressive symptoms and parenting beliefs. The participants were 175 low income children (mean age = 62.1 months) and their mothers who participated in a larger national study of Early Head Start eligible children. Our sample included families from two predominantly rural sites. Mothers completed a survey about the amount of time their children spend watching television during the week and on the weekend, and the types of programs they watch, as well as questionnaires related to maternal depression and parenting attitudes. According to mothers' report, most of the young children in our sample exceeded the total viewing time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (maximum 2 h per day), and the majority watched at least some programming designed for adult audiences. Maternal depressive symptoms and beliefs about parenting were associated with heavier viewing on the part of the child, as well as with viewing of age-inappropriate content.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies