Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. SD 1.5 Television Viewing Habits

01/01/2000

Some studies indicate that excessive television watching is negatively related to the academic attainment of children and youth; for example, children and adolescents in grades 4, 8, and 11 who watch 5 or more hours of television per day have substantially lower test scores than other children on average.5 Yet, as depicted in Figure SD 1.5, substantial percentages of students report watching large amounts of television on a daily basis. The content of the television programs the students watched was not reported.

Differences by Age. The percentage of children who report watching 6 or more hours of television declines with age, as indicated in Figure SD 1.5. Among 9-year-olds, 18 percent reported watching 6 or more hours of television each day in 1996. Among 13-year-old students, 13 percent watched 6 or more hours of television. Among 17-year-olds, only 7 percent watched this amount of television each day. For all three age groups, the percentage of students spending 6 or more hours a day watching television increased between 1982 and 1986 and then declined through 1996.

Differences by Gender. Larger proportions of boys than girls at ages 9 and 13 are watching television for long periods of time (see Table SD 1.5.A). In 1996, 20 percent of 9-year-old boys watched television for 6 or more hours per day, compared with 15 percent of girls in that age group. A similar pattern is evident for 13-year-olds (see Table SD 1.5.B), while for 17-year-olds, the percentages of boys and girls watching television for long periods is the same, at 7 percent (see Table SD 1.5.C).

Differences by Race and Hispanic Origin.6 For each age group and for each time point of assessment, larger proportions of black students watch television for 6 or more hours per day than do either white or Hispanic students; for example, among 9-year-old students, 39 percent of black students, compared with 13 percent of white students and 21 percent of Hispanic students, reported watching television 6 or more hours per day in 1996 (see Table SD 1.5.A).

Differences by Type of School. In general, smaller percentages of children and adolescents who attend private school spend 6 or more hours per day watching television than do students who attend public school. The differences between public and private school pupil television viewing habits are more pronounced among 9- and 13-year-old students (see Tables SD 1.5.A, SD 1.5.B, and SD 1.5.C).

Differences by Parents’ Educational Level. Children’s television viewing habits also vary by parents’ educational level. In general, as parents’ educational levels increase, the percentages of children watching 6 or more hours of television decline. In 1996, 18 percent of 13-year-olds whose parents had less than a high school education were watching 6 or more hours of television per day, compared with 13 percent of students with parents who graduated from high school and 10 percent of students whose parents graduated from college (see Table SD 1.5.B). A similar pattern is evident for 17-year-olds (see Table SD 1.5.C).

 

5 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. 1994. Youth Indicators 1993: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
6 Estimates for whites and blacks exclude Hispanics of those races.

 

Figure SD 1.5 Percentage of students in the United States who watch 6 or more hours of television per day, by age: selected years, 1982-1996

Sources: Unpublished tables, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, and 1996 Long- Term Trend Results, Math Assessment data; and unpublished Almanacs, 1978-1990.

 

Table SD 1.5.A Percentage of 9-year-old students in the United States who watch 6 or more hours of television per day, by gender, race and Hispanic origin, and type of school: Selected years, 1982-1996

  1982 1986 1990 1992 1994 1996
Total 26 31 23 19 19 18
Gender
Male 30 34 27 22 23 20
Female 23 27 20 17 16 15
Race and Hispanic origin a
White non-Hispanic 23 26 18 14 14 13
Black non-Hispanic 43 53 47 41 40 39
Hispanic 28 33 26 25 22 21
Type of school
Public 27 32 24 21 19 19
Private 21 24 18 5 11 7

a Estimates for whites and blacks exclude Hispanics of those races. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Note: Parents’ education is not reported for 9-years-olds because approximately one-third of these students did not know their parents’ education level.
Sources: Unpublished tables, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, and 1996 Long-Term Trend Results, Math Assessment data; and unpublished Almanacs, 1978-1990.

 

Table SD 1.5.B Percentage of 13-year-old students in the United States who watch 6 or more hours of television per day, by gender, race and Hispanic origin, type of school, and parents’ highest level of education: Selected years, 1982-1996

  1982 1986 1990 1992 1994 1996
Total 16 20 17 13 13 13
Gender
Male 18 21 18 14 15 15
Female 15 19 15 11 12 11
Race and Hispanic origin a
White non-Hispanic 13 17 12 8 8 7
Black non-Hispanic 32 40 35 31 35 35
Hispanic 19 21 18 19 19 17
Type of school
Public 17 20 17 14 14 13
Private 13 11 6 4 3
Parents’ highest level of education
Less than high school 23 32 24 21 23 18
Graduated high school 18 22 19 16 17 13
More than high school 13 18 12 9 13 13
Graduated college 12 15 13 9 9 10

— =Too few observations for a reliable estimate.
a Estimates for whites and blacks exclude Hispanics of those races. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Sources: Unpublished tables, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, and 1996 Long-Term Trend Results, Math Assessment data; and unpublished Almanacs, 1978-1990.

 

Table SD 1.5.C Percentage of 17-year-old students in the United States who watch 6 or more hours of television per day, by gender, race and Hispanic origin, type of school, and parents’ highest level of education: Selected years, 1978-1996

  1978 1982 1986 1990 1992 1994 1996
Total 5 6 9 9 7 8 7
Gender
Male 5 7 10 9 7 10 7
Female 5 6 8 8 7 7 7
Race and Hispanic origin a
White non-Hispanic 4 5 6 6 4 5 4
Black non-Hispanic 13 14 22 23 21 24 21
Hispanic 7 6 12 8 6 9 9
Type of school
Public 5 7 9 9 7 8 7
Private 3 3 3 3 6
Parents’ highest level of education
Less than high school 8 10 17 11 10 14 15
Graduated high school 5 8 10 11 10 12 9
More than high school 4 4 9 8 5 8 6
Graduated college 3 4 4 5 5 5 6

— =Too few observations for a reliable estimate.
a Estimates for whites and blacks exclude Hispanics of those races. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Sources: Unpublished tables, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, and 1996 Long-Term Trend Results, Math Assessment data; and unpublished Almanacs, 1978-1990.

View full report

Preview
Download

"intro.pdf" (pdf, 633.22Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"PF1.pdf" (pdf, 391.08Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"PF2.pdf" (pdf, 574.76Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"PF3.pdf" (pdf, 554.29Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES1.pdf" (pdf, 338.59Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES2.pdf" (pdf, 555.35Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES3.pdf" (pdf, 582.37Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES4.pdf" (pdf, 555.87Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"HC1.pdf" (pdf, 373.14Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"HC2.pdf" (pdf, 725.89Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"HC3.pdf" (pdf, 586.99Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD1.pdf" (pdf, 607.16Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD2.pdf" (pdf, 628.97Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD3.pdf" (pdf, 722.74Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD4.pdf" (pdf, 689.79Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"EA1.pdf" (pdf, 429.55Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"EA2.pdf" (pdf, 633.06Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"EA3.pdf" (pdf, 648.96Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"Glossary.pdf" (pdf, 291.75Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"Biblio.pdf" (pdf, 318.68Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®