Fighting the war on indecency: mediating TV, internet, and videogame usage among achieving and underachieving gifted children.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the March 28, 2005, cover story of Time, a war on indecency INDECENCY. An act against good behaviour and a just delicacy. 2 Serg. & R. 91.
2. The law, in general, will repress indecency as being contrary to good morals, but, when the public good requires it, the mere indecency of disclosures does not suffice to exclude has been waged against the electronic media and television is the primary battlefield. Findings from a national poll revealed that the majority of adult Americans "find TV too risque ris·qué
Suggestive of or bordering on indelicacy or impropriety.
[French, from past participle of risquer, to risk, from risque, risk; see risk.]
Adj. " (Poniewozik, 2005, p. 28) and believe that there is too much violence, profanity Irreverence towards sacred things; particularly, an irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God. Vulgar, irreverent, or coarse language.
The use of certain profane or obscene language on the radio or television is a federal offense, but in other situations, profanity , sexual language, and sex being aired at times when children have access to the airwaves airwaves
Informal radio waves used in radio and television broadcasting . A recent Gallup Poll Gallup Poll
a sampling of the views of a representative cross section of the population, usually used to forecast voting [after G H Gallup, statistician]
Gallup poll n → reinforces these findings and suggests that most Americans want the entertainment industry to reduce this content (Jones, 2004).
Prodded by values activists, fueled by media watchdogs, and empowered by the Broadcast Decency de·cen·cy
n. pl. de·cen·cies
1. The state or quality of being decent; propriety.
2. Conformity to prevailing standards of propriety or modesty.
a. Enforcement Act of 2004 (Labaton, 2005), the government has responded to the public's demands. Over the past 2 years the Federal Communications Commission Federal Communications Commission (FCC), independent executive agency of the U.S. government established in 1934 to regulate interstate and foreign communications in the public interest. has rebuked, reprimanded, or fined commercial broadcast outlets at an unprecedented rate, including Viacom (fined $550,000 for the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction Wardrobe malfunction is an euphemism used to describe the accidental exposure of an intimate part or parts of the body due to a defect in an article or articles of clothing. during Super Bowl XXXVIII Super Bowl XXXVIII was the 38th championship game of the modern National Football League (NFL). The game was played on February 1, 2004 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas following the 2003 regular season. ), Clear Channel Communications Not to be confused with clear channel radio stations, which are AM radio stations with certain technical parameters.
Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) is a media conglomerate company based in the United States. (fined $495,000 for Howard Stem's on-air discussion of sexual proclivities), and Fox (fined $1,183,000 for pushing the indecency envelope in an episode of the reality series "Married by America Married by America was a show on television which aired in the United States on the Fox Network in the spring of 2003.
The premise of the show was simple: a variety of contestants were introduced on the air, then viewers could call in and vote for certain candidates. "). Despite these initiatives, President Bush made it clear that parents, not government, are "the first line of responsibility when it comes to protecting children from indecent TV programming" (McConnell & Eggerton, 2005, p. 8).
With over 75% of school-age children having access to the Internet at home and over 24% accessing online content from their bedroom (Kaiser Family Foundation The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), or just Kaiser Family Foundation, is a U.S.-based non-profit, private operating foundation headquartered in Menlo Park, California. , 2003), the Internet has become the second front on which the war on indecency is being fought. Reports suggest that school-age children log onto the Internet for an average of 16.7 hours weekly--more than they spend watching television (Elkin, 2003)--and time online almost doubles when access exists in the bedroom (Eastin, 2005). Teens and preteens are now preferring the Internet to the telephone (Pastore, 2002), are increasingly seeking physical and mental health information online (Gross, Juvonen, & Gable gable
Triangular section formed by a roof with two slopes, extending from the eaves to the ridge where the two slopes meet. It may be miniaturized over a dormer window or entranceway. , 2002; Kaiser Family Foundation, 2002), and are often engaged in chat room interaction (Rideout, Vanderwater, & Wartella, 2003; Roban, 2002). Children's access to misinformation mis·in·form
tr.v. mis·in·formed, mis·in·form·ing, mis·in·forms
To provide with incorrect information.
mis , obscenity obscenity, in law, anything that tends to corrupt public morals by its indecency. The moral concepts that the term connotes vary from time to time and from place to place. In the United States, the word obscenity is a technical legal term. In the 1950s the U.S. , indecency, and advertising, and online predators' access to children, are of great concern to many parents (Eastin, Greenberg, & Hofschire, 2005; Eagle, Bulmer, & de Bruin, 2003; Turow & Nir, 2000; Warren & Bluma, 2002).
Lawmakers have tried and failed to regulate the flow of objectionable material through the Internet (see Eastin, 2001). In 1996, the U.S. Congress enacted the Communications Decency Act See CDA.
(legal) Communications Decency Act - (CDA) An amendment to the U.S. 1996 Telecommunications Bill that went into effect on 08 February 1996, outraging thousands of Internet users who turned their web pages black in protest. which, in part, punished pun·ish
v. pun·ished, pun·ish·ing, pun·ish·es
1. To subject to a penalty for an offense, sin, or fault.
2. To inflict a penalty for (an offense).
3. the transmission of "patently offensive" information (Van Camp, 1996). However, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly rejected those portions of the law (Harmon, 1996; Lewis, 1996a, 1996b; Lohr, 1996). Shortly thereafter, the Child Online Protection Act Not to be confused with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) is a law in the United States of America, passed in 1998 with the declared purpose of protecting minors from harmful sexual material on the was proposed and was also rejected by the Supreme Court. Its rationale was that control over children's access to inappropriate Internet information was the primary responsibility of those controlling the household in which it is received--that is, parents.
The video and computer game sector is the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world and second only to music in profitability (Elmer-Dewitt, 1993; Screen Digest, 2003). It became a third front in the war on indecency immediately after several school shootings
n. 1. See Sandress. , 2003). Although no literature directly links these shootings to game playing, a significant body of research has found that violent videogames desensitize de·sen·si·tize
1. To render insensitive or less sensitive, as a nerve or tooth.
2. To make an individual nonreactive or insensitive to an antigen.
3. youths to violence (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Schneider, Lang, Shin shin (shin) the prominent anterior edge of the tibia or the leg.
saber shin marked anterior convexity of the tibia, seen in congenital syphilis and in yaws. , & Bradley, 2004), increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults (Kirsh, 1998; Schabner, 2005; Sherry, 2001), and increase physiological arousal arousal /arous·al/ (ah-rou´z'l)
1. a state of responsiveness to sensory stimulation or excitability.
2. the act or state of waking from or as if from sleep.
3. and aggression-related thoughts and feelings (Anderson & Dill, 2000; Tamborini et al., 2004).
In response, bills designed to prevent the sale of sexually and violently explicit videogames to children have been recently proposed by law makers in several states, and all of the bills have met a less than enthusiastic response from the various state judicial arms (Magarian, 2005). Courts have typically struck down the proposed legislation, determining that videogames of this nature fall under the safeguard of the first amendment as protected speech. The video and computer gaming industry has predictably opposed such bills. It has argued that such restrictions are unnecessarily redundant since the gaming industry has a rating system in place that is highly effective in educating parents as to the nature and proper selection of games (Bray, 2005; Magarian). Once again, parents are perceived as the first and last line of defense in the war on indecency.
Parental Control of Television
It has long been lamented la·ment·ed
Mourned for: our late lamented president.
la·mented·ly adv. that television is an information and entertainment technology less easily controlled by parents than other methods of storytelling Storytelling
semi-legendary fabulist of ancient Greece. [Gk. Lit.: Harvey, 10]
Baron traveler grossly embellishes his experiences. [Ger. Lit. (e.g., Meyrowitz, 1985; Postman POSTMAN, Eng. law. A barrister in the court of exchequer, who has precedence in: motions. , 1982). "The ubiquitous nature of television," suggested Austin, Bolls, Fujioka, and Engelbertson (1999, p. 175), "has made it more difficult to limit children's access to ideas with which their caregivers might disagree." Early research on the parental mediation mediation, in law, type of intervention in which the disputing parties accept the offer of a third party to recommend a solution for their controversy. Mediation has long been a part of international law, frequently involving the use of an international commission, of television (e.g., McLeod, Atkin, & Chaffee, 1972; Steiner, 1963) consistently found that fewer than half of all parents forbade for·bade
A past tense of forbid.
forbade or forbad
the past tense of forbid
forbade forbid exposure to certain "adult" or "offensive" shows, set limits on viewing, or made comments on the nature of the content being viewed by their children.
As television set saturation saturation, of an organic compound
saturation, of an organic compound, condition occurring when its molecules contain no double or triple bonds and thus cannot undergo addition reactions. , VCR VCR: see videocassette recorder.
in full videocassette recorder
Electromechanical device that records, stores on a videotape cassette, and plays back on a TV set recorded images and sound. availability, channel number, cable access, and broadcast network options increased over the years (e.g., Andreasen, 1990, 1994; Atkin, Greenberg, & Baldwin, 1991; Hefzallah, 1987; Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Lindlof & Shatzer, 1990), and as the entertainment industry's promotion of inappropriate content to an underage audience became increasingly routine (Bao & Shao, 2002; Buijzen & Valkenburg, 2003; Poniewozik, 2005), parental control over television dramatically decreased. The overall quantity of rules and regulations regarding television is no greater for parents of gifted children than other parents (Abelman, 1987, 1995), despite the fact that their children watch more at an earlier age and are exposed to more age-inappropriate programming and advertising (Hunter, 1992; Sprafkin, Gadow, & Abelman, 1992) than their nongifted counterparts.
In response to years of pressure by parents groups and child-activist organizations, the commercial networks agreed to present a warning in front of selected programs in the 1993 primetime lineup A criminal investigation technique in which the police arrange a number of individuals in a row before a witness to a crime and ask the witness to identify which, if any, of the individuals committed the crime. to facilitate parental mediation. It stated, "Due to some violent content, parental discretion is advised" and was met with general dissatisfaction because the warning tended to attract rather than detract de·tract
v. de·tract·ed, de·tract·ing, de·tracts
1. To draw or take away; divert: They could detract little from so solid an argument.
2. young viewers (Bushman & Stack, 1996; Mandese, 1993). In January 1996, the first major rewrite re·write
v. re·wrote , re·writ·ten , re·writ·ing, re·writes
1. To write again, especially in a different or improved form; revise.
2. of communications regulation in 50 years was approved and encouraged the television industry to develop and deploy a more robust and informative television rating system. The ratings would give parents "the ability to block [offensive] programming" (Stern, 1996, p. 9) through informed program selection and by activating the V-chip--a half-inch square computer chip to be installed in all television sets by late 1998--that can block out programs based on ratings criteria. By the year's end, the industry presented an on-screen on·screen or on-screen
adj. & adv.
1. As shown on a movie, television, or display screen.
2. Within public view; in public. system (see Greenberg, Rampoldi-Hnilo, & Mastro, 2001) that separated general entertainment programs on broadcast and cable television into four age-based categories: (a) Mature Audiences Only [TV-MA TV-MA Suitable for Mature Audiences Only (television rating) ], (b) Parents Strongly Cautioned [TV-14], (c) Parental Guidance Suggested [TVPG TVPG Television Parental Guidance (rating) ], and (d) Suitable For All Audiences [TV-G TV-G Suitable for All Viewers (television rating) ]; and children's programming into two categories: (a) Suitable for Children 7 and Older [TV-Y TV-Y Specifically Designed for Younger Children (television rating) 7], and (b) Suitable for Children of All Ages [TV-Y].
The Parents Television Council--the entertainment-monitoring arm of the conservative media watchdog, Media Research Center--pronounced the ratings "hopelessly hope·less
1. Having no hope; despairing. See Synonyms at despondent.
2. Offering no hope; bleak.
4. Having no possibility of solution; impossible. vague" and "inconsistent" (Fleming, 1997, p. 22). Data confirming the rating system's ineffectiveness were reported by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which found that almost two-thirds (65%) of parents were not using the ratings to guide their children's viewing (Bash, 1997; Mifflin, 1997). Greenberg, Rampoldi-Hnilo, and Ver Steeg (1998, pp. 30-31) found that respondents' "attention was low, their attitudes only marginally positive, [and] they seldom used the ratings." Abelman and Gubbins (1999) reported that the parents who needed mediation assistance the most--that is, those parents whose children were low-to-average academic achievers and heavy, indiscriminant consumers of television--were least likely to use the ratings. Parents of gifted children-particularly children who were low-to-moderate consumers of television-used the ratings as fodder fodder
feed for herbivorous animals, usually used to describe dried leafy material such as hay. See also forage.
a root crop grown solely as a source of feed for cattle, possibly sheep. for discussions about television rather than as justification for specific restrictive rules or as criteria for programming the Vchip. "To date the TV Parental Guidance system has been ... merely preaching to the choir" (p. 62).
In July 1997, most television programmers This is a list of programmers notable for their contributions to software, either as original author or architect, or for later additions.
See also: Game programmer, List of computer scientists
agreed to modify the age-based rating system by adding symbols (Farhi, 1997; Ostling, 1997) to alert viewers about potentially objectionable content: (a) Violent Content [V], (b) Sexual Content [S], (c) Coarse Language [L], (d) Suggestive sug·ges·tive
a. Tending to suggest; evocative: artifacts suggestive of an ancient society.
b. Dialogue [D], and (e) Fantasy Violence [FV]. Unfortunately, this effort also fell short of expectations. Kunkel et al. (1998) and Signorielli (2005), for example, reported an inconsistent application of the content ratings to programming, particularly in the areas of violence, sex, and adult language. The Kaiser Family Foundation (1999; Foehr, Rideout, & Miller, 2001) found that nearly one-fifth (18%) of parents were unaware of the TV ratings, and only half of those parents who were aware of the ratings (40% of all parents) reported actually using the system to guide their children's televiewing. In addition, Rampoldi-Hnilo and Greenberg (2001) found that the age-based ratings with content information were more confusing con·fuse
v. con·fused, con·fus·ing, con·fus·es
a. To cause to be unable to think with clarity or act with intelligence or understanding; throw off.
b. to parents than were the age-based ratings without content. Abelman (2001) reported that only 24% of parents used the ratings, and did so to restrict children's consumption of objectionable content by establishing restrictive viewing hours and forbidding the viewing of specific programs. Their children tended to be academically average and moderate-to-high consumers of television. Parents of gifted children did not use this information to establish guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. for viewing or to program the V-chip to any significant degree.
It should be noted that nearly all of the published reports on the effectiveness of these age- and content-based television ratings Television ratings may refer to:
Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard: normative grammar.
nor part of the entertainment landscape and a viable, better publicized pub·li·cize
tr.v. pub·li·cized, pub·li·ciz·ing, pub·li·ciz·es
To give publicity to.
Adj. 1. publicized - made known; especially made widely known
publicised option for parents.
Parental Control of the Internet and Videogames
To date, very few studies have examined the parental mediation of the Internet. Griffiths (1997) reported that many parents were concerned about the impact of the Internet on their children's social development, but did not know how to intervene. In a national study of parents of children with Internet access See how to access the Internet. in their home, Turow and Nir (2000) found that more than 75% were concerned about privacy issues and access to sexually explicit images, and 65% of parents of children between 13 and 17 said they set rules regarding the sites their children were permitted to visit online as well as the time of day they could visit. However, the actual in-home application of these rules could not be verified by the researchers. Van Rompaey, Roe, and Struys (2002) reported that Internet access and use was a major source of family conflict.
Increasingly parents are turning to electronic monitoring software to better understand what their children are doing online (Lenhart, Rainie, & Lewis, 2001; Warren & Bluma, 2002). The three largest online providers (America Online See AOL. , Prodigy An online information service that provides access to the Internet, e-mail and a variety of databases. Launched in 1988, Prodigy was the first consumer-oriented online service in the U.S. Services, and CompuServe) offer software to subscribers so parents can filter and block material they consider offensive. This parental control is analogous analogous /anal·o·gous/ (ah-nal´ah-gus) resembling or similar in some respects, as in function or appearance, but not in origin or development.
adj. to the V-chip in televisions and provides a way to keep undesirable material from children (see Akst, 1996; Lewis, 1996a, 1996c; Lohr, 1996). However, the use of this software has not been found to be widespread or consistently applied by parents (Eastin et al., 2005).
Despite the popularity of videogames among young children and teens, there is little evidence that parents in general, (Graybill, 1985; Walsh & Gentile, 2001) or parents of gifted children in particular (Blumberg, Hollander, & Genovese gen·o·a
A large jib used on a racing yacht. Also called genoa jib.
Adj. 1. , 2001), wield wield
tr.v. wield·ed, wield·ing, wields
1. To handle (a weapon or tool, for example) with skill and ease.
2. To exercise (authority or influence, for example) effectively. See Synonyms at handle. much control over their use. The most prevalent form of control is game selection based on rating information (Bray, 2005). The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB ESRB Entertainment Software Rating Board
ESRB Estrogen Receptor Beta
ESRB Explosive Safety Review Board ), a self-regulatory body established in 1994, applies and enforces ratings, advertising guidelines, and online privacy principles. The ESRB rates games with symbols that indicate the suggested age group of game users and provides content descriptors (see ESRB, 2006) that tell parents about content elements that may be of interest or concern: (a) Early Childhood [EC], (b) Everyone [E], (c) Everyone 10 and older [E10+], (d) Teen [T], (e) Mature [M], and (d) Adults Only [AO]. The ESRB system is the most widespread, rating over 8,000 titles submitted by over 350 publishers for Sony Playstation Sony Playstation - Playstation 2, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Game Boy, and others. The company boasts that "83% of parents think the ratings accurately describe the content of the games" (Bray, p. J8). However, Fink fink Slang
1. A contemptible person.
2. An informer.
3. A hired strikebreaker.
intr.v. finked, fink·ing, finks
1. To inform against another person. , Flores Flores, town, Guatemala
Flores (flōrəs), town (1990 est. pop. 2,200), capital of Petén department, N Guatemala. Flores was built on an island in the southern part of Lake Petén Itzá and on the site of the , Buchman, and Germann (1999) and Walsh and Gentile (2001) found that many parents disagree with Verb 1. disagree with - not be very easily digestible; "Spicy food disagrees with some people"
hurt - give trouble or pain to; "This exercise will hurt your back" the industry usage of many of the ratings designating material as "suitable for children" of different ages. As a result, their employment as a consistent and reliable form of parental mediation has been called into question (Schrnid, 2005; S. L. Smith, 2003; Walsh, 1999).
The investigation reported here seeks to determine whether the desired goal of giving "parents the information they need" (Fleming, 1997, p. 22) to make and enforce informed decisions about electronic media is actually being met. It will examine the extent to which the industry ratings and content blocking technologies are being adopted into household mediation strategies, and profile the types of parents most likely to employ them. It has been suggested (L. Smith, 2004) that the recent war on indecency could inspire greater use of the V-chip, particularly since the technology is now in more of the 245 million television sets currently in use (as mandated by Congress). It is also likely that the high profile war on indecency (see Poniewozik, 2005) has inspired (a) greater parental awareness of and involvement in their children's use of all electronic media; (b) a wider employment of Internet monitoring Analyzing traffic on the Internet. Monitoring is performed to determine packet volume for network configuration as well as to find out how employees are spending their time on the Internet. This is the first step in determining whether or not filtering should be added to the network. and blocking software See Web filtering and parental control software. ; and (c) a greater use of videogame rating systems.
Underachieving Gifted Children
Contrasting views about gifted children's relationship with popular media abound, suggesting that giftedness both enhances resiliency The ability to recover from a failure. The term may be applied to hardware, software or data. and increases vulnerability (Abelman, 1995; Sprafkin et al., 1992). Research suggests that how a gifted child gifted child
Child naturally endowed with a high degree of general mental ability or extraordinary ability in a specific domain. Although the designation of giftedness is largely a matter of administrative convenience, the best indications of giftedness are often those is likely to respond to electronic media and other forms of entertainment and information is largely determined by the nature of the child's giftedness and personal characteristics, such as self-perception, temperament temperament, in music, the altering of certain intervals from their acoustically correct values to provide a system of tuning whereby music can move from key to key without unacceptably impure sonorities. , life circumstances, and motivation (Cross, Coleman, & Stewart, 1995; Niehart, 1999; Pufal-Strnzik, 1999). Underachievement among gifted children is a particularly perplexing per·plex
tr.v. per·plexed, per·plex·ing, per·plex·es
1. To confuse or trouble with uncertainty or doubt. See Synonyms at puzzle.
2. To make confusedly intricate; complicate. attribute and one that raises interesting questions about electronic media use, influence, and parental response.
Too often, and for no apparent reason, students who show great academic potential--as measured by standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. achievement test scores or cognitive or intellectual ability assessments-fail to perform at a level commensurate com·men·su·rate
1. Of the same size, extent, or duration as another.
2. Corresponding in size or degree; proportionate: a salary commensurate with my performance.
3. with their previously documented abilities--as measured by class grades and teacher evaluations (Reis & McCoach, 2000). Like gifted children in general, underachievers exhibit great variability and diversity in their behaviors, interests, and abilities (Baum, Renzulli, & Hebert, 1995; Butler-Por, 1987; Colangelo, Kerr, Christensen, & Maxey, 1993; Emerick, 1992; Ford, 1996; Rimm, 1997; Supplee, 1990; Whitmore, 1986; Wolfle, 1991). Nonetheless, it has been repeatedly reported that underachieving gifted children share many common characteristics--and may share more characteristics--with underachievers in general than they do with achieving gifted students (Davis & Rimm, 1989; Delisle, 1982; Diaz, Hebert, Maxfield, Ratley, & Reis, 1995; Dowdall & Colangelo, 1982; McCall, Evahn, & Kratzer, 1992). Chief among these shared characteristics with other underachievers is a lack of motivation, low self-esteem and self-confidence, difficulty focusing attention, disorganization disorganization /dis·or·gan·iza·tion/ (-or?gan-i-za´shun) the process of destruction of any organic tissue; any profound change in the tissues of an organ or structure which causes the loss of most or all of its proper characters. , procrastination, and avoidance of responsibility (Borkowski & Thorpe Thorpe , James Francis Known as "Jim." 1888-1953.
American athlete. An outstanding collegiate football player, he later played professional football and baseball. , 1994; McNab, 1997; Richert, 1991; Van Boxtel & Monks, 1992). Delisle (1992), Rimm (1997), and Sword (2002), among others, have also identified the excessive use of reading, computers, videogames, and television to escape from school responsibilities as a defining attribute of underachievement. Gifted underachievers frequently report peer influence to engage in media consumption, game playing, and other nonacademic distractions as the strongest force impeding im·pede
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of. See Synonyms at hinder1.
[Latin imped their accomplishments (Baker, Bridger, & Evans, 1998; D. R. Clasen & R. E. Clasen, 1995).
Considering the potential ramifications ramifications npl → Auswirkungen pl of excessive electronic media consumption on the behavior and social, moral, and academic development of children in general and gifted children in particular, gifted underachievers may be at particular risk. Unfortunately, there is a paucity pau·ci·ty
1. Smallness of number; fewness.
2. Scarcity; dearth: a paucity of natural resources. of research that specifically addresses this concern. As such, the following research questions are raised: "Are underachieving gifted children more avid consumers of television, the Internet, and videogames than other children?" and "Are parents of underachieving gifted children more or less likely to engage in the mediation of their children's use of electronic media than other parents?"
Research on the family characteristics of intellectually gifted children suggests that certain types of home environments may foster or perpetuate per·pet·u·ate
tr.v. per·pet·u·at·ed, per·pet·u·at·ing, per·pet·u·ates
1. To cause to continue indefinitely; make perpetual.
2. underachievement (Baker et al., 1998; B. B. Brown, Mounts, Lamborn, & Steinberg, 1993). Parents tend to exhibit less positive affect (Mandel & Marcus, 1988), disinterested Free from bias, prejudice, or partiality.
A disinterested witness is one who has no interest in the case at bar, or matter in issue, and is legally competent to give testimony. attitudes towards education (Jeon, 1990; Jeon & Feldhusen, 1993), inconsistent parenting techniques (Rimm & Lowe, 1988), and a propensity to be overly lenient le·ni·ent
Inclined not to be harsh or strict; merciful, generous, or indulgent: lenient parents; lenient rules. or overly strict (Pendarvis, A. A. Howley, & C. B. Howley, 1990; Weiner, 1992) than do parents of intellectually gifted achievers. In light of these tendencies, a third research question is raised: "Are parents of underachieving gifted children likely to engage in different methods of mediation of their children's use of electronic media than parents of achieving gifted children?"
The theoretical assumption on which any media advisory system is based--that parents can directly impact their children's electronic media use--is well grounded in the scientific literature (J. A. Brown, 1991; D. Brown & Bryant, 1990). In addition, three general mediation strategies have been recognized and regularly reported (Abelman, 1992; Desmond, J. L. Singer, & D. G. Singer, 1990; Nathanson, 2001), which parallel Baumrind's (1991a, 1991b) classification of general parental control over their children. These strategies have been found to be non-medium-specific--that is, parents tend to embrace a specific mode of mediation that is applicable to all forms of electronic media (Valkenburg, Krcmar, Peeters, & Marseille Marseille
City (pop., 1999: city, 797,486; metro. area, 1,349,772), southeastern France. One of the Mediterranean's major seaports and the second largest city in France, it is located on the Gulf of Lion, west of the French Riviera. , 1999). One style of parental mediation has been called restrictive or authoritarian, and reflects parents' setting rules and regulations for consumption and/or the restriction and prohibition prohibition, legal prevention of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, the extreme of the regulatory liquor laws. The modern movement for prohibition had its main growth in the United States and developed largely as a result of the of viewing or accessing certain material or source outlets (Atkin et al., 1991; Nathanson, 1999). Parents who embrace this approach would most likely use the V-chip, Internet blocking technology, and/or videogame ratings to limit children's access to specific TV programs or channels, Internet, Web sites, or games that are perceived to be problematic or inappropriate.
A second style has been called instructive in·struc·tive
Conveying knowledge or information; enlightening.
in·structive·ly adv. or evaluative. It refers to the purposeful pur·pose·ful
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look. discussion and/or criticism of electronic media content and their effects (Abelman & Pettey, 1989; Austin, 1992). By sharing information, parents are instilling in·still also in·stil
tr.v. in·stilled, in·still·ing, in·stills also in·stils
1. To introduce by gradual, persistent efforts; implant: "Morality . . . a working knowledge and critical perspective about content and consumption. Parents "interpret mediated me·di·ate
v. me·di·at·ed, me·di·at·ing, me·di·ates
1. To resolve or settle (differences) by working with all the conflicting parties: content, explain its meaning, evaluate its motivations, make value judgments, and distinguish between fantasy and reality" (Weaver
The Weavers are small passerine birds related to the finches.
These are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills, most of which breed in sub-Saharan Africa, with fewer species in tropical & Barbour, 1992, p. 236). Parents who embrace this approach would most likely not use the more restrictive V-chip and Internet blocking technologies but rather would use rating information to guide children's consumption choices, consumption behavior, and interpretation of mediated messages.
The third style of mediation has been called unfocused un·fo·cused also un·fo·cussed
1. Not brought into focus: an unfocused lens.
2. or permissive permissive adj. 1) referring to any act which is allowed by court order, legal procedure, or agreement. 2) tolerant or allowing of others' behavior, suggesting contrary to others' standards.
PERMISSIVE. and reflects an unstructured, relatively relaxed approach to electronic media by parents. It typically includes co-viewing, where parents watch television with their children, observe game playing, and supervise the use of the Internet but do not engage in any mediating dialogue about the program, game, or Web site (Austin, 1993; Dorr, Kovaric, & Double-day, 1989; Weaver & Barbour, 1992). Although coviewing may be intended to be a deterrent de·ter·rent
Tending to deter: deterrent weapons.
1. Something that deters: a deterrent to theft.
2. to inappropriate consumption, Nathanson (1999) indicated that it often acts as a silent endorsement of the content being consumed and the consumption being performed. Parents who engage in unfocused mediation are unlikely to use any of the industry-generated tools to directly guide or control their children's electronic media usage (Eastin et al., 2005).
Several specific factors have been identified in the literature that help determine how much and which style of mediation is most likely to occur in a given household and the specific form it is likely to take with regard to different electronic media. They include parents' child rearing practices, parents' perceptions of electronic media effects on their children, the quantity of children's media consumption, and the age and gender of child.
Child Rearing Practices
Two main categories of child rearing practices have been identified by Aronfreed (1969, 1976) and Hoffman (1970, 1975) and subsequently applied to parental mediation of electronic media--induction and sensitization sensitization /sen·si·ti·za·tion/ (sen?si-ti-za´shun)
1. administration of an antigen to induce a primary immune response.
2. exposure to allergen that results in the development of hypersensitivity. . The main difference between these two modes of child rearing is that induction is communication-oriented and sensitization is based on the exercise of actual or implied power. Inductive inductive
1. eliciting a reaction within an organism.
a form of radiofrequency hyperthermia that selectively heats muscle, blood and proteinaceous tissue, sparing fat and air-containing tissues. practices "tend to make the child's control of his or her behavior independent of external contingencies. In contrast, [sensitization] merely sensitizes the child to the anticipation of punishment" (Aronfreed, 1969, pp. 309-310). Induction techniques include the use of reasoning, explanation, and appeals to the child's pride and achievement, and they exert little external power over the child. Parents who engage in this form of discipline/child rearing typically point out to the child why one course of action may be better than another for the child's own well-being or because of effects on others. Sensitization "includes physical punishment, deprivation DEPRIVATION, ecclesiastical Punishment. A censure by which a clergyman is deprived of his parsonage, vicarage, or other ecclesiastical promotion or dignity. Vide Ayliffe's Parerg. 206; 1 Bl. Com. 393. of material objects or privileges, the direct application of force, or the threat of any of these" (Hoffman, 1970, p. 285). Inductive and sensitizing sen·si·tize
v. sen·si·tized, sen·si·tiz·ing, sen·si·tiz·es
1. To make sensitive: "The polarity principle . . . techniques are often used in combination, to varying degrees, although Baumrind (1968) has reported that inductive techniques are dominant among authoritative/evaluative parents and sensitizing techniques are dominant among authoritarian/restrictive parents.
A more inductive style of communication has been found to be common among parents of intellectually gifted children (Colangelo & Dettman, 1983; Morrow mor·row
1. The following day: resolved to set out on the morrow.
2. The time immediately subsequent to a particular event.
3. Archaic The morning. & Wilson, 1964; Roedell, Jackson, & Robinson, 1980) when compared with parents of children with different cognitive abilities (e.g., Cummings & Maddux, 1985; Lynch & Lewis, 1988). In general, these parents are significantly clearer and more open in their communication with their children. Interestingly, Reis and McCoach (2000) reported that inconsistent parenting techniques appeared to occur more frequently in the homes of underachieving gifted children, with parents showing a propensity to be overly inductive and/or overly sensitizing (Pendarvis et al., 1990; Weiner, 1992). According to Rimm and Lowe (1988, p. 355), "in 95% of [these] families, one parent played the role of the parent that challenges and disciplines, and the other took the role of the protector protector /pro·tec·tor/ (-tek´ter) a substance in a catalyst that prolongs the rate of activity in the latter. . There was an increasing opposition between parents as the challenger became more authoritarian and the rescuer became increasingly protective." In addition, parents of achieving gifted children seem to encourage self-motivation, environmental engagement, and autonomy more than parents of underachieving children. By contrast, families of underachieving gifted children tend to be more restrictive and punishment-oriented (Taylor, 1994).
Several mass communication researchers have determined that the interaction and socialization socialization /so·cial·iza·tion/ (so?shal-i-za´shun) the process by which society integrates the individual and the individual learns to behave in socially acceptable ways.
n. style of parents are related to their approach to children's use of television information. J. L. Singer, D. G. Singer, and Rapaczynski (1984), Desmond et al. (1990), and Abelman (1986) found that parents who were high sensitization/low inductive tended to be infrequent in·fre·quent
1. Not occurring regularly; occasional or rare: an infrequent guest.
2. mediators of television. However, when they did intervene in their children's televiewing, they were most likely to utilize more restrictive forms of mediation. Parents who were high inductive/low sensitization were more frequent mediators, but were more likely to practice evaluative forms of mediation. In addition, low inductive/low sensitization parents were largely infrequent and unfocused mediators, using television for reward/punishment without rationale, coviewing with their children with little direct intervention, and recommending programs for viewing or not viewing without explanation or justification. This pattern of behavior was evident in parents' use of the age-based rating system (Abelman & Gubbins, 1999; Greenberg & Rampoldi-Hnilo, 2001) as well as the more robust content-based ratings (Abelman, 2001), but no literature exists that pairs specific child-rearing practices with the adoption of videogame ratings. In addition, no insight into the use of the V-chip was presented in these studies, but it has been reported that technological blocking of Internet access as a restrictive mediation technique was found to be highest among more authoritative parents (East-in et al., 2005).
Collectively, this body of research suggests that parents who engage in highly sensitizing childrearing practices are likely to be more authoritative in their mediation strategies than highly inductive parents, and thus more likely to use the industry-issued parental mediation strategies. Parents of underachieving gifted children would most likely fit within this classification. Parents who engage in highly inductive child-rearing practices tend to be instructive in their mediation. Thus, it would be expected that parents of achieving gifted children would most likely to use the less restrictive TV and videogame ratings information than other industry-issued strategies at their disposal.
Perceptions of Effects
Among the most prominent factors that are likely to contribute to the amount of parental control of their children's electronic media use are parents' perceptions of the media's impact on their children. Mills and Watkins (1982) and Bybee, Robinson, and Turow (1982) discovered that one reason for the lack of parental mediation of television was that many parents did not perceive television to be a harmful or beneficial force in their children's lives. Austin (1993) and Foehr et al. (2001) also found that a greater knowledge of and skepticism about television led to more active mediation. Turow and Nir (2000) found the same to be true regarding the Internet. According to Anderson and Bushman (2001, p. 353), "the one positive result of the [Columbine columbine, in botany
columbine (kŏl`əmbīn), any plant of the genus Aquilegia, temperate-zone perennials of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercup family), popular both as wildflowers and as garden flowers. shootings] is the attention brought to the growing problem of videogame violence, from the newsroom to the living room."
Desmond et al. (1990) found that parents who were primarily concerned with the behavioral effects of television (i.e., the medium influencing how children behave during and after viewing) were more likely to mediate MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to his agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power. their children's televiewing than other parents. They were also more likely to apply restrictive methods of mediation, reinforcing the perception that undesirable behaviors resulting from televiewing can be reduced by restricting televiewing. In addition, parents who were more concerned with cognitive and/or affective affective /af·fec·tive/ (ah-fek´tiv) pertaining to affect.
1. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.
2. effects (i.e., the medium influencing what children think about and their thought processes This is a list of thinking styles, methods of thinking (thinking skills), and types of thought. See also the List of thinking-related topic lists, the List of philosophies and the . and/or the medium influencing how children feel about themselves and others) were more likely to use evaluative mediation than other parents. These findings were confirmed in later investigations by Van Evra (1998), Krcmar (1998), and Abelman and Gubbins (1999).
Parents of intellectually gifted children are particularly conscious of their children's learning processes (Clark, 1997; Socha & Stamp, 1995) and the sources of external stimuli that tend to advance or hinder hin·der 1
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders
1. To be or get in the way of.
2. To obstruct or delay the progress of.
v.intr. their children's intellectual progression (Page, 1983) when compared with other parents. According to Sprafkin et al. (1992), gifted children watch fewer hours of television than their age mates but tend to watch more television during both the early school years and early adolescence--stages when they are arguably ar·gu·a·ble
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.
2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law. the most vulnerable to social influences. They are also more likely to watch adult-oriented programming at an earlier age than their peers. As a result, their parents generally believe that television can have both positive (e.g., increases curiosity) and negative (e.g., decreases reading ability) affective and cognitive effects on their children. Researchers have found that this translated into a fairly active adoption of the age-based rating system into parental mediation of television (Abel man & Gubbins, 1999), but not the employment of the content guidelines and V-chip technology that later accompanied these ratings (Abelman, 2001).
It has been argued that the Internet environment is perceptually per·cep·tu·al
Of, based on, or involving perception.
Adv. 1. different and more demanding than traditional media such as television (Eastin, Yang yang (yang) [Chinese] in Chinese philosophy, the active, positive, masculine principle that is complementary to yin; see yin, under principle. , & Nathanson, 2004; Livingstone, 2003). For instance, users need to understand and remember the relationships among Web pages and need to continually assess the relevance of information to their initial goals. Similarly, learning and playing videogames requires the use of cognitive strategies, goal-setting skills, and attention to detail (Blumberg, Hollander, & Genovese, 2001; Blumberg & Sokol, 2004) not required by other electronic media. Gifted children are particularly able to recognize the nature of problems, to select strategies that are appropriate for problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. , to map higher-order relations, and to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information (Barbe & Renzulli, 1993; Runco & Nemiro, 1994). This, too, may translate into distinctive parental mediation strategies or perceptions of the impact of videogames on children.
No literature has specifically examined parents perceptions of the impact of electronic media on their underachieving gifted children. However, excessive use of computers, videogames, and television to escape from school responsibilities has been identified as a defining attribute of underachievement (Delisle, 1992; Rimm, 1997), and parents are well aware of their children's lack of motivation, low self-esteem and self-confidence, difficulty focusing attention, disorganization, procrastination, and avoidance of responsibility (Borkowski & Thorpe, 1994; McNab, 1997; Richert, 1991; Van Boxtel & Monks, 1992). This may translate to specific perceptions of the impact of electronic media and, in turn, unique forms of mediation of those technologies.
According to Jack Valenti, who spearheaded the TV ratings effort, the ratings were primarily targeted at parents who needed industry intervention the most--those whose young children had free reign over the television set and who wished to "block out programs they don't want their children to see" (West & Stern, 1996, p. 26). Unsupervised television consumption often results in excessive and age-inappropriate television choices (Desmond, 1997; Krcmar, 1998), particularly among exceptional children (Van Evra, 1998). To date, most studies have identified a direct relationship between the adoption of the TV advisory ratings into household rules and regulations and moderate-to-high levels of TV consumption by children (see Greenberg, Eastin, & Mastro, 2001). Greater parental concern over the impact of videogames and Internet access, and subsequent mediation, has also resulted when children engage in higher levels of consumption (Eastin, Greenberg, & Hofschire, 2005; Van Rompaey, Roe, & Struys, 2002; Warren & Bluma, 2002). If underachieving gifted children are more avid consumers of electronic media than other children, as has been suggested (Delisle, 1992; Rimm, 1997; Sword, 2002), then more avid adoption of the respective industry-issued mediation strategies by their parents is expected.
Gender and Age
There is some evidence that parents' rules about their children's use of the electronic media vary with the gender and age of the child. Barcus (1969), for example, found that boys had fewer TV rules than girls. Similarly, stricter and more frequent rule-making has been observed for girls (Greenberg & Dominick, 1969; Lyle & Hoffman, 1972). Gender was found to be a moderately significant predictor of parents' use of age-based (Foehr et al., 2001) and content-based TV ratings (Abelman, 2001; Greenberg, Rampoldi-Hnilo, & Hofschire, 2001), with girls being the recipient of more mediation. Bickham et al. (2003), Lucas and Sherry (2004), and Griffiths, Davies, and Chappell (2004) reported that age (younger) and gender (male) were clear predictors of videogame and computer game usage, while others (Eastin, 2005; Eastin et al., 2005) found that male children had greater time and content restrictions on their use of videogames and the Internet.
As children age, parental monitoring and mediating of children s televiewing generally declines. Research suggests that parents are more likely to restrict the televiewing of 3-year-olds than 5-year-olds (Mohr, 1979; St. Peters, Fitch, Huston, Wright, & Eakins, 1991), and this pattern holds as children grow older (Atkin et al., 1991; Lin & Atkin, 1989). With regard to the age-based ratings, parents with older children were found to be less aware of the rating system than parents with younger children (Foehr et al., 2001). When the content based system became available, only 10% of parents with children under 10-years-old could correctly recall any one of the specific ratings pertinent for children's programming (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999). Interestingly, recall performance by parents with children over 10-years-old was comparably poor. Regarding children's use of videogames and the Internet, recent studies suggest that younger children have greater time and content restrictions placed on their use by concerned parents (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Eastin et al., 2005) when compared to older children.
Collectively, the literature paints a portrait of the circumstances under which the various forms of industry-issued parental mediation tools are most likely to be adopted. Upon review, it is reasonable to expect the following:
l. Those most likely to use the TV rating system in their mediation will be instructive parents who (a) engage in highly inductive child rearing; (b) perceive that television has significant cognitive effects on their young, female, achieving gifted children; and (c) will use the ratings in their family discussions about television.
2. Those most likely to use the V-chip in their mediation will be authoritarian parents who (a) engage in highly sensitizing child rearing; (b) perceive that television has significant behavioral effects on their young, female, academically average children; and (c) will use the V-chip to restrict access to programming.
3. Those most likely to use Internet monitoring/blocking software in their mediation will be authoritarian parents who (a) engage in highly sensitizing child rearing; (b) perceive that the Internet has significant behavioral effects on their young, male, underachieving gifted children; and (c) will use the software to restrict access to websites.
4. Those most likely to use videogame ratings in their mediation will be authoritarian parents who (a) engage in highly sensitizing child rearing; (b) perceive that videogames have significant behavioral effects on their young, male, underachieving gifted children; and (c) will use the ratings to restrict access to games.
The sample of parents of children aged 6 to 15 (M= 10.9 years, SD = 4.3) was generated from 720 households with school-labeled, academically average children (N = 318; 45%) with a mean IQ of 94.9 (SD = 8.66); achieving, intellectually gifted children (N = 297; 41%) with a mean IQ of 139.2 (SD = 8.83); and underachieving, intellectually gifted children (N = 105; 14%) with a mean IQ of 132.8 (SD = 9.22). Having Internet access, a videogame playing system, and a post-1998 television set were prerequisites for sample selection. Children were selected from second grade (N = 259, 36%; M = 7.4 years; SD = 1.5), fifth grade (N = 245, 34%; M = 10.7 years; SD = 1.3), and eighth grade (N = 216, 30%; M = 13.7 years; SD = 1.4) classrooms across 15 elementary and intermediate schools in and around a mid-size Midwestern city. This represents a 72% response rate from the 1,000 households contacted through the schools. Fifty-six percent of the children were girls. Parents were recruited by letter, which sought the "only or primary rule-making and rule-enforcing parent in the household, if one exists, or both parents if [they are] equally involved in rule-making and rule-enforcing." The sample consisted of dyads (58%), mothers (35%), and fathers (7%). The surveys were delivered the first week of February 2005 and returned by mail the first week in March 2005.
All exceptional students met state and local guidelines for placement in programs for intellectual giftedness “Gifted” redirects here. For other uses, see Gift (disambiguation).
Intellectual giftedness is an intellectual ability significantly higher than average. . That is, they were individually assessed in intellectual and achievement measures that had a standard mean score of 100 (SD = 15). Intellectually gifted children had an intellectual ability in the above average range, as indicated by their full-scale performance on the revised Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Wechsler intelligence scale for children
A standardized intelligence test that is used for assessing children from 5 to 15 years old. (Wechsler, 1974), and standing age-achievement scores that were at least 15 points above and 15 points below their expected level of achievement (Silver & Clampit, 1990). Underachieving gifted children were identified through teacher ratings and in-class observations and through past activities and achievements, as evidenced in Stanford Achievement Tests (90th+ percentile percentile,
n the number in a frequency distribution below which a certain percentage of fees will fall. E.g., the ninetieth percentile is the number that divides the distribution of fees into the lower 90% and the upper 10%, or that fee level ) and course grades. All children were dummy coded In computer programming, dummy code is inserted in a program skeleton to simulate processing and avoid compilation error messages. It may involve empty function declarations, or functions that return a correct result only for a simple test case where the expected response of the (no = 0, yes = 3) to identify them as academically average, gifted achievers or gifted underachievers for the purpose of classification for analysis.
Parental Mediation. The type and quantity of parental mediation of television, the Internet, and videogames were assessed through a modified version of an instrument developed by Bybee et al. (1982) and revised by Abelman and Pettey (1989). A series of 17 questions for each technology asked parents about the frequency (often, sometimes, rarely, never) with which they used certain interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.
2. methods, in conjunction with TV ratings information, videogame ratings information, V-chip technology, and Internet tracking and blocking software to control or guide their child's televiewing. The level of mediation was determined by assigning numerical values to each response category (coded 3-0) and summed across the 17 items that comprise each mediation index. Parents were categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat as being high mediators (range 34-51), moderate mediators (range 17-33), and low mediators (range 0-16) of each technology in accordance Accordance is Bible Study Software for Macintosh developed by OakTree Software, Inc.
As well as a standalone program, it is the base software packaged by Zondervan in their Bible Study suites for Macintosh. with previous research.
The items from all three indices were then submitted to a principal axis Noun 1. principal axis - a line that passes through the center of curvature of a lens so that light is neither reflected nor refracted; "in a normal eye the optic axis is the direction in which objects are seen most distinctly"
optic axis factor analysis with varimax rotation to determine underlying dimensions of mediation. Three distinctive mediation strategies emerged. The first was the Restrictive Mediation Strategy (17 items accounting for 48% of the variance and having an eigenvalue eigenvalue
In mathematical analysis, one of a set of discrete values of a parameter, k, in an equation of the form Lx = kx. Such characteristic equations are particularly useful in solving differential equations, integral equations, and systems of of 6.72), which focused on the physical removal of the child from the medium or the lack of access of content for the child in the form of specific viewing hours, the forbidding of specific programs or program types based on ratings information, and the programming of V-chip technology or Internet software ([alpha] = .92). The second factor was the Evaluative Mediation Strategy (17 items explaining 32% of the variance and having an eigenvalue of 4.67), which entailed the purposeful discussion of media content and/or ratings information between parents and children ([alpha] = .88). The third factor reflected the Unfocused Mediation strategy (15 items explaining 14% of the variance and having an eigenvalue of 3.74), and entailed coviewing, nondirected monitoring, and the selection of programs and videogames for viewing or not viewing without explanation and without the use of consumption for punishment and/or reward ([alpha] = .82).
Child Rearing Practices. Parental child-rearing orientations were assessed through an instrument created by Hoffman and Saltzstein (1967) and modified by Korzenny, Greenberg, and Atkin (1979), and Abelman and Pettey (1989). Parental reactions toward the child's behavior were obtained in response to eight hypothetical Hypothetical is an adjective, meaning of or pertaining to a hypothesis. See:
v. com·posed, com·pos·ing, com·pos·es
1. To make up the constituent parts of; constitute or form: the positive situation index (e.g., "Say you are proud of him/her," "Give him/her something special," "Explain why it was a good thing to do"). Similarly, nine possible responses were provided for the four items that compose the negative situation index (e.g., "Yell at him/her"; "Tell him/her another way to solve his/her problems"; "Say you are disappointed in him/her"). Parents were asked whether each of the responses represented what their actual response would be, should the hypothetical situations occur (response categories: no, maybe, yes--coded 0 to 2). Final scores for each of the 18 response items (nine positive plus nine negative) were summed across the various social situations. The means were typically higher for the positive than for the negative situations; the means for the induction strategy items were typically higher than for the sensitization items.
The items were submitted to a principal axis factor analysis with varimax rotation, limiting the extraction of factors to the two hypothesized induction and sensitization dimensions. Factor 1 underlies the inductive orientation, accounting for 47% of the total variance with an eigenvalue of 6.54 ([alpha] = .93), and Factor 2 comprises the sensitizing orientation of parental discipline, accounting for 29% of the variance with an eigenvalue of 4.89 (or = .89). Loadings of .35 were considered the cutoff point Cutoff point
The lowest rate of return acceptable on investments. for the factor loadings on the 18 items.
Parental Perceptions of Effects. Parents were asked about their attitudes toward the likely effects of television, the Internet, and videogames on their children. Thirty statements were presented that referred to various commonly debated consequences of the electronic media/child relationship (Abelman, 1987; Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Eastin et al., 2005). Responses noted whether parents felt specific media were "not a contributory con·trib·u·to·ry
1. Of, relating to, or involving contribution.
2. Helping to bring about a result.
3. Subject to an impost or levy.
n. pl. cause at all," a "contributory cause of little importance," a "somewhat important contributory cause," an "important contributory cause," or a "very important contributory cause" (coded 0-5).
These items also were submitted to a principal axis factor analysis with varimax rotation and resulted in three factors. Factor 1 underlies parents' perceptions of cognitive effects (6 items) accounting for 48% of the variance and having an eigenvalue of 6.72 ([alpha] = .94). Factor 2 underlies parents' perceptions of affective effects (6 items), which has an eigenvalue of 4.37 and explains 28% of the variance ([alpha] = .89). Factor 3, reflecting behavioral effects (6 items), has an eigenvalue of 3.63 and explains 18% of the variance ([alpha] = .88). Final scores for each of the 30 items were summed. Those with a mean score of 3 or greater were classified as believing that electronic media are likely to have significant consequences on their children.
Children's Electronic Media Consumption. Three weeks prior to the parents' participation in this investigation, children were asked to keep a 2-week diary of their television viewing, videogame playing, and online behavior as part of a daily homework assignment. In comparison with A. C. Nielsen's (2004) measures of average child consumption, children viewing TV (a) under 1 hour per day were identified as low consumers, (b) between 1 and 4 hours per day were identified as moderate consumers, and (3) over 4 hours per day were identified as high consumers. Based on a meta-analysis of the literature performed by Anderson & Bushman (2001), measures of child videogame playing were as follows: (a) under 1 hour per day were identified as low consumers, (b) between 1 and 2 hours per day were identified as moderate consumers, and (c) over 3 hours per day were identified as high consumers. In comparison with Eastin et al. (2005), measures of average child access to the Internet (a) under 1 hour per day were identified as low consumers, (b) between 1 and 3 hours per day were identified as moderate consumers, and (c) over 4 hours per day were identified as high consumers. Collapsing open-ended responses to media consumption practices into three categories enforces known parameters and facilitates comparison with other published reports (Abelman & Gubbins, 1999; Eastin et al., 2005).
Differences in electronic media consumption by academically average and achieving and underachieving gifted children, and the quantity and nature of mediation by their parents was examined using a chi-square analysis of marginal homogeneity Homogeneity
The degree to which items are similar. . Because the chi-square does not assume ordering or meaningful numerical distances between the response categories, it was the most appropriate test for examining these nominally and ordinally scaled indices. In addition, to assess those main effects and interactions not directly testable by the usual chi-square method, the Grizzle grizzle
a bluish-gray or iron-gray coat color in dogs, consisting of a mixture of black and white hairs. In canaries, it describes light, grayish markings on the head, body, wings or tail. , Starmer, and Koch ([GSK GSK GlaxoSmithKline plc (pharmaceutical company)
GSK Glycogen Synthase Kinase
GSK Gruppentraining Sozialer Kompetenzen (Germany)
GSK Greenland Shark (FAO fish species code) ], 1969) approach was employed on all data. (GSK analysis is a procedure for fitting linear models to categorical data categorical data
data relating to category such as qualitative data, e.g. dog, cat, female. It may be nominal when a name is used, e.g. location, breed, or ordinal when a range of categories is used, e.g. calf, yearling, cow. . It allows the exploration of underlying parameters which are incorporated into, but frequently obscured by the overall chi-square analysis.)
Cluster analysis Cluster analysis
A statistical technique that identifies clusters of stocks whose returns are highly correlated within each cluster and relatively uncorrelated across clusters. Cluster analysis has identified groupings such as growth, cyclical, stable, and energy stocks. was used to identify and profile the types of parents most likely to use the available mediation information and technology in their decision-making and the manner by which they are incorporated into strategies or rules about electronic media usage (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1995). The cluster analysis encompasses a number of different algorithms and methods for grouping objects of similar kind into respective categories to develop taxonomies. Ward's method with a squared, Euclidean distance In mathematics, the Euclidean distance or Euclidean metric is the "ordinary" distance between two points that one would measure with a ruler, which can be proven by repeated application of the Pythagorean theorem. measure (see Kaufmann & Rousseeuw, 2005) provided the most stable and useful result (few very large or very small clusters, and few dramatic shifts from a solution with k clusters to a solution with k + 1 clusters). This method is distinct from all other methods, because it uses an analysis of variance approach to evaluate the distances between clusters. In short, this method attempts to minimize the Sum of Squares of any two (hypothetical) clusters that can be formed at each step. Using the criteria of (a) the smallest k possible, with (b) no single-case clusters, and (c) significant discrimination among clusters for all internal variables (i.e., variables used to create clusters; Aldenderfer & Blashfield, 1984), the analysis resulted in four clusters.
Several research questions asked whether differences existed in the consumption of electronic media by academically average, achieving gifted, and underachieving gifted children, and in the quantity and nature of mediation by their parents. The first question asked whether underachieving gifted children were more avid consumers of television, the Internet, and videogames than other children. The proportion of low, moderate, and high consumers of electronic media among the children in this study can be found in Table 1. Significant differences in the consumption of television ([chi square chi square (kī),
n a nonparametric statistic used with discrete data in the form of frequency count (nominal data) or percentages or proportions that can be reduced to frequencies. ] [2, N = 720] = 16.78, p < .005), the Internet ([chi square] [2, N = 720] = 7.76, p < .03), and videogames ([chi square] [2, N = 720] = 19.37, p < .001) were found, with underachieving gifted children being the highest consumers of all electronic media. In addition, a GSK analysis revealed that academically average children consumed more television ([chi square]  = 16.39, p < .0022) and videogames ([chi square]  = 16.18 p < .003) than achieving gifted children. Consumption of videogames was the only gender-dominated activity (male; [chi square]  = 27.08, p < .001) and televiewing was the only form of electronic media consumption that second graders engaged in more than eighth graders ([chi square]  = 29.15, p < .0001).
The second research question asked whether parents of underachieving gifted children were more or less likely to engage in the mediation of their children's use of electronic media than other parents. The quantity of parental mediation can be found in Table 2 and, according to chi-square analyses, each technology received significantly different levels of attention by the different parent groupings (television, [chi square] [2, N = 720] = 10.32, p < .01; the Internet, [chi square][2,N= 720] = 15.86,p < .001; and videogames, [chi square] [2, N = 720] = 17.24, p < .0002). In general, parents of underachieving gifted children engaged in more frequent mediation of electronic media when compared with parents of achieving gifted children who, in turn, were more avid mediators than parents of academically average children. GSK analyses reveal that a greater proportion of parents of underachieving gifted children engaged in high levels of mediation of television ([chi square] = 17.22, p < .001), the Internet ([chi square] = 19.05, p < .001), and videogames ([chi square] = 27.35, p < .0001) when compared with parents of other children.
The third research question asked whether parents of underachieving gifted children were likely to engage in different methods of mediation of their children's use of electronic media than parents of achieving gifted children. As can be seen in Table 3, the proportion of parents who provided restrictive, evaluative, and unfocused mediation strategies are significantly different ([chi square][2, N = 720] = 20.57, p < .0001). Parents of achieving gifted children were found to be primarily evaluative in their mediation strategies. Parents of underachieving gifted children were primarily restrictive in their mediation, although over one-third of these parents were evaluative.
Parents' child rearing practices can be found in Table 4 and, according to a chi-square analysis, are significantly different ([chi square] [3, N = 720] = 21.32, p < .0008) across the parent groups in this study. Parents of achieving gifted children were predominately high induction/low sensitization. Parents of underachieving gifted children were primarily high induction/high sensitization. Parents of academically average children were primarily low induction/high sensitization.
The cluster analysis (see Table 5) indicates that four distinctive parental mediation clusters were evident. Oneway ANOVAs for the 17 parent and child attributes are provided, with each line comprising a four-group F-test, with the four group means reported, followed by the grand mean, the F statistic statistic,
n a value or number that describes a series of quantitative observations or measures; a value calculated from a sample.
a numerical value calculated from a number of observations in order to summarize them. , and its level of statistical significance. The first cluster represents 17% of the sample and reflects the type of household most likely to use TV ratings information in the mediation of their children's televiewing--parents who have a highly inductive, communicative com·mu·ni·ca·tive
1. Inclined to communicate readily; talkative.
2. Of or relating to communication.
com·mu style of child rearing, a highly evaluative method of mediation that includes the purposeful discussion of programs, and are more concerned with cognitive and affective effects than behavioral effects. The children tend to be young (second grade) intellectually gifted achievers who are moderate consumers of television, moderate-to-high Internet users Internet user n → internauta m/f
Internet user Internet n → internaute m/f , and moderate-to-low consumers of videogames. Gender was a significant contributor to this form of mediation, with females more likely to be subjected to this method of control than males. This pattern supports the first hypotheses, although the finding that parents were concerned with both cognitive- and affective-level effects was not predicted.
The second cluster represents 12% of the sample and identifies the type of household most likely to use the V-chip in the mediation of their children's televiewing--parents who typically discipline through physical punishment and/or the deprivation of material objects or privileges, including more restrictive methods of television mediation such as the deprivation of favorite programs. These parents are concerned with the behavioral effects of television on their academically average children. These children tend to be high consumers of television, high consumers of videogames, moderate-to-low Internet users, male, and young (second grade). For the most part, this cluster supports the second hypothesis. The only area of deviation DEVIATION, insurance, contracts. A voluntary departure, without necessity, or any reasonable cause, from the regular and usual course of the voyage insured.
2. is that the hypothesis predicted that the children subjected to this form of parental mediation would most likely be female.
The third cluster represents 23% of the sample and identifies the type of parents most likely to utilize Internet monitoring/blocking software. These parents tend to be highly sensitizing in their child rearing, restrictive in their mediation practices, and concerned with the behavioral and affective effects of electronic media on their underachieving gifted children. These children tend to be high consumers of television, high consumers of videogames, high Internet users, male, and older (eighth grade). This cluster largely supports the third hypothesis, although it was predicted that the children whose parents employed Internet monitoring/blocking software would be young and the parents would be singularly concerned with the behavioral effects of their children's use of electronic media.
The fourth cluster represents 28% of the sample and identifies the type of parents most likely to use the videogame rating system in their mediation. These parents tend to be highly sensitizing and moderately inductive in their child rearing, restrictive in their mediation practices, and concerned with the behavioral and affective effects of electronic media on their underachieving gifted children. These children tend to be high consumers of television, high consumers of videogames, moderate-to-high Internet users, male, and older (fifth and eighth grades). This cluster marginally supports the fourth hypothesis. This hypothesis inaccurately predicted that parents were solely sensitizing in their child rearing and singularly concerned with the behavioral effects of their children's use of electronic media. In addition, this hypothesis wrongly predicted that the targeted children would be younger.
Shortly after the age-based TV rating system's nation-wide implementation in January 1997, it was reported that few parents used the ratings to guide their children's viewing (Bash, 1997; Mifflin, 1997). Within a few weeks of the initial airing of the content-based TV ratings in July 1997, surveys revealed that most parents found the system so confusing that it was rarely used to program the V-chips within their television sets (Rampoldi-Hnilo & Greenberg, 2001). Few parents employed electronic Internet monitoring and blocking software upon their availability (Warren & Bluma, 2002), despite the fact that 75% of parents were concerned about privacy issues, children's access to objectionable content, and social isolation (Griffiths, 1997; Turow & Nir, 2000; Van Rompaey et al., 2002). Similarly, videogame ratings became available in 1994 (Bray, 2005), but their employment as a consistent and reliable form of parental mediation was called into question shortly after their posting (Walsh, 1999).
More recently, media watchdogs have determined that popular culture has become increasingly offensive (Bray, 2005; Labaton, 2005). Research has reflected Americans' concerns over and opposition to this fare (Jones, 2004; Eastin et al., 2005) and a war on indecency has been waged against the electronic media. President Bush, in a C-SPAN interview, reminded parents that "they put an off button [on] for a reason" (Poniewozik, 2005, p. 30), but it is clear (Jones, 2004) that this degree of restraint is not readily practiced in most households. This investigation attempted to identify whether the war on indecency has inspired the employment of the government-sanctioned, industry-initiated tools for parental mediation. To some degree it has, although one-third to one-half of all parents still infrequently in·fre·quent
1. Not occurring regularly; occasional or rare: an infrequent guest.
2. intervene in their children's electronic media consumption.
Typically, the greatest amount of mediation occurred in households where the children engaged in the greatest amount of consumption. The only exception was among the parents of gifted achievers, who were the most avid users of the TV ratings in their mediation, despite the fact that their children consumed less television than academically average and underachieving gifted children. This finding is consistent with the literature and echoes the conclusion that the parental guidance system "has been preaching to the choir" (Abelman & Gubbins, 1999, p. 62). It also reaffirms the observation that these parents are extremely concerned about television's influence on their children's intellectual progression. It is worth noting that the rating system was most consistently used by parents of younger gifted children: those in the second grade. Young children were identified by the industry (Stem, 1996) as having the greatest need of parental mediation, thereby resulting in the TV-Y7 (suitable for children 7 years and older) and TV-Y (suitable for children of all ages) rating categories. Clearly, the system has successfully reached its target audience.
Findings also confirm that a significantly greater percentage of underachieving gifted children are heavy consumers of television, the Internet, and videogames when compared to other children. Their parents are extremely concerned about the media's influence on their children's self-perception and behavior, which translates into extremely active mediation. Interestingly, much of this mediation is not through the industry-initiated tools at their disposal. For example, these parents are not as likely to use ratings information to guide their decision-making as are parents of gifted achievers, and they are not as likely to activate the V-chip within their television sets as are parents of academically average children. Nonetheless, they create many rules about what, when, and how much television is consumed by their children, although the actual enforcement of those rules is in doubt given the children's diary reports of heavy viewership view·er·ship
The people who watch a television program or motion picture: a largely male viewership. . This may be the result of the inconsistent parenting techniques that are reported to be endemic endemic /en·dem·ic/ (en-dem´ik) present or usually prevalent in a population at all times.
1. in the homes of underachieving gifted children (Reis & McCoach, 2000; Rimm & Lowe, 1988).
Interestingly, parents of underachieving gifted children readily embrace computer software and videogame ratings to help limit children's access to objectionable content. Although gifted achievers were also avid users of the Internet, their parents engaged in only moderate-to-low levels of mediation. One possible explanation for this inconsistency in·con·sis·ten·cy
n. pl. in·con·sis·ten·cies
1. The state or quality of being inconsistent.
2. Something inconsistent: many inconsistencies in your proposal. among parents of gifted children is that parents of achievers tend to believe that electronic media such as the Internet are more likely to have cognitive effects, many of which can be positive and enriching (Abelman, 1992), while parents of underachievers report that electronic media can have significant detrimental det·ri·men·tal
Causing damage or harm; injurious.
detri·men effects on their children's emotional state and social behavior In biology, psychology and sociology social behavior is behavior directed towards, or taking place between, members of the same species. Behavior such as predation which involves members of different species is not social. (Rimm, 1997). Another explanation may be found in the finding that older children are the primary recipients of this mediation. It is likely that parents of underachieving children perceive the excessive use of the Internet and videogames, and its likely impact on their children's lack of motivation, low self-esteem, disorganization, and avoidance of responsibility (Borkowski & Thorpe, 1994; McNab, 1997), to be particularly problematic at this stage in their development.
This study serves to confirm the significance of specific parent-and child-attributes that help determine how much, and which form of mediation is most likely to occur in a given household. It also reinforces the observation that underachieving gifted children may share more characteristics with underachievers in general than they do with gifted achievers (Davis & Rimm, 1989; McCall et al., 1992). In particular, they have similar patterns of consumption of television and videogames, and their parents share perceptions of the likely impact of that consumption (Diaz et al., 1995; Reis & McCoach, 2000). Research that further explores the possible relationship between media consumption and underachievement should be conducted.
Numerous reports (Armas, 2005) suggest that cable and satellite television are the next fronts on which the war on indecency will be fought. Currently the FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, www.fcc.gov) The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. has no power to regulate these stations, which are available to about 85% of U.S. households, but the Parents Television Council and others are pushing legislation that could broaden the government's jurisdiction in the case of indecency and profanity. The National Cable and Telecommunications Communicating information, including data, text, pictures, voice and video over long distance. See communications. Association, a trade group, has noted that people choose to pay for channels and, as part of their subscription, are able to block programming they don't want seen in their homes. Cable companies have instituted a public-service campaign in the last 2 years to educate customers about the ratings-based channel-blocking system (Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world. , 2005). Once again, parents are considered to be the first line of responsibility when it comes to protecting children from indecent TV programming. Generalizing from the findings reported here, one would expect that few viewers would readily embrace the industry-initiated blocking system. Although the majority of adult Americans believe that there is too much indecent material on television, they continue to watch it and report that they are not "personally offended of·fend
v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends
1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.
2. by it" (Poniewozik, 2005, p. 28). In addition, personal media technologies are evolving that may render industry-based initiatives moot An issue presenting no real controversy.
Moot refers to a subject for academic argument. It is an abstract question that does not arise from existing facts or rights. . Digital video recorders See DVR. like TiVo, for instance, allow users to watch whatever programs they want whenever they want. Such technology provides parents with a wider range of control that may be attractive to restrictive, evaluative, and unfocused mediators alike. The diffusion diffusion, in chemistry, the spontaneous migration of substances from regions where their concentration is high to regions where their concentration is low. Diffusion is important in many life processes. and adoption of this innovation is certainly worth monitoring.
Manuscript submitted May 11, 2005.
Revision accepted November 4, 2005.
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v. taint·ed, taint·ing, taints
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Table 1 Children's Media Consumption N High level Moderate level Low level Television Academically average 318 54% 36% 10% Gifted achiever 297 32% 48% 20% Gifted underachiever 105 65% 29% 6% Male 317 52% 36% 10% Female 403 54% 32% 26% Second grade 259 59% 31% 10% Fifth grade 245 47% 44% 9% Eighth grade 216 49% 31% 10% Internet Academically average 318 25% 48% 27% Gifted achiever 297 45% 42% 13% Gifted underachiever 105 49% 41% 10% Male 317 41% 38% 21% Female 403 43% 42% 15% Second grade 259 12% 38% 50% Fifth grade 245 48% 39% 13% Eighth grade 216 62% 29% 9% Videogames Academically average 318 42% 37% 21% Gifted achiever 297 21% 42% 47% Gifted underachiever 105 58% 30% 12% Male 317 58% 27% 15% Female 403 32% 16% 52% Second grade 259 18% 27% 55% Fifth grade 245 41% 21% 38% Eighth grade 216 46% 32% 22% Note. N = 720 Table 2 Quantity of Parental Mediation Media Parents of N High Moderate Low Television Academically average children 318 14% 43% 43% Intellectually gifted achievers 297 32% 33% 35% Intellectually gifted underachievers 105 43% 30% 27% Internet Academically average children 318 17% 32% 51% Intellectually gifted achievers 297 27% 37% 36% Intellectually gifted underachievers 105 45% 32% 23% Video- Academically average games children 318 24% 23% 53% Intellectually gifted achievers 297 35% 17% 48% Intellectually gifted underachievers 105 61% 27% 12% Note. N = 720 Table 3 Parental Mediation Strategies Parents of N Restrictive Evaluative Unfocused Academically average children 318 49% 14% 37% Intellectually gifted achievers 297 12% 76% 12% Intellectually gifted underachievers 105 62% 37% 1% Note. N = 720 Table 4 Childrearing Practices High induction/ High induction/ Parents of N High sensitization Low sensitization Academically average children 318 22% 19% Intellectually gifted achievers 297 19% 72% Intellectually gifted underachievers 105 62% 16% Low induction/ Low induction/ Parents of Low sensitization High sensitization Academically average children 17% 42% Intellectually gifted achievers 5% 4% Intellectually gifted underachievers 3% 19% Note. N = 720 Table 5 Parental Mediation Clusters Avid Avid Avid TV V-Chip Internet ratings users software users users (n = 122) (n = 86) (n = 166) Parent attributes Mediation--restrictive 1.37 (a) 3.87 (b) 3.66 (b) Mediation--evaluative 3.72 (a) 1.62 (b) 2.19 (c) Mediation--unfocused 2.35 (a) 1.83 (b) 1.80 (b) Childrearing--inductive 13.23 (a) 1.45 (b) 0.86 (b) Childrearing--sensitizing 2.31 (a) 13.78 (b) 12.89 (b) Perceived effects--cognitive 4.62 (a) 1.83 (b) 2.53 (c) Perceived effects--affective 3.79 (a) 2.04 (b) 4.40 (a) Perceived effects--behavioral 0.95 (a) 4.22 (b) 4.60 (b) Child attributes Academically average 0.72 (a) 2.87 (b) 0.57 (a) Achieving gifted 2.82 (a) 1.05 (b) 1.03 (b) Underachieving gifted 1.73 (a) 1.12 (b) 2.88 (c) TV consumption 2.19 (a) 2.65 (b) 2.55 (b) Internet consumption 2.57 (a) 1.54 (b) 2.76 (a) Videogame consumption 1.43 (a) 2.73 (b) 2.83 (b) Gender (female) 1.24 (a) 1.79 (b) 1.12 (a) Age 7.50 (a) 7.20 (a) 13.60 (b) Parental Mediation Clusters Avid videogame ratings Grand users M F p (n = 202) Parent attributes Mediation--restrictive 3.55 (b) 2.78 22.70 <.001 Mediation--evaluative 2.05 (c) 2.95 26.32 <.001 Mediation--unfocused 1.76 (b) 1.96 19.22 <.001 Childrearing--inductive 6.52 (c) 5.52 9.91 <.001 Childrearing--sensitizing 12.55 (b) 10.38 7.38 <.001 Perceived effects--cognitive 1.35 (b) 2.58 5.77 <.001 Perceived effects--affective 4.65 (a) 4.25 4.73 <.001 Perceived effects--behavioral 4.82 (b) 3.64 4.33 <.001 Child attributes Academically average 1.49 (c) 1.41 16.94 <.001 Achieving gifted 1.23 (b) 1.53 16.87 <.001 Underachieving gifted 2.86 (b) 2.15 17.21 <.001 TV consumption 2.68 (b) 2.52 6.21 <.001 Internet consumption 2.33 (a) 2.30 6.57 <.001 Videogame consumption 2.82 (b) 2.46 7.12 <.001 Gender (female) 1.08 (a) 1.31 2.97 <.001 Age 12.25 (b) 10.60 8.66 <.001 Note. Means with different subscripts are significantly different. p < .05