Movie Mom

Movie Mom

New Study on Children’s Increasing Immersion in Media

posted by Nell Minow

How families use media and what it means for kids’ health and well-being is the subject of Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, the first study by Common Sense Media’s new Program for the Study of Children and Media, released late last month.

The study shows that everything from iPods to smartphones to tablet computers are now a regular part of kids’ lives, with kids under 8 averaging two hours a day with all screen media. Among the key findings:


  • 42% of children under 8 years old have a television in their bedroom.
  • Half (52%) of all 0- to 8-year-olds have access to a new mobile device, such as a smartphone, video iPod, or iPad/tablet.
  • More than a third (38%) of children this age have used one of these devices, including 10% of 0-to 1-year-olds, 39% of 2- to 4-year-olds, and more than half (52%) of 5- to 8-year-olds.
  • In a typical day, one in 10 (11%) 0- to 8-year-olds uses a smartphone, video iPod, iPad, or similar device to play games, watch videos, or use other apps. Those who do such activities spend an average of 43 minutes a day doing so.
  • In addition to the traditional digital divide, a new “app gap” has developed, with only 14% of lower-income parents having downloaded new media apps for their kids to use, compared to 47% of upper-income parents.

What troubles me most in the results of this study is the pervasive exposure to media for under-2’s, contrary to the recommendations of pediatricians and the increasing digital divide that limits the opportunities to use the best of what is available to kids who already have greater access to traditional resources.


I agree with the recommendations of Common Sense Media:

But my own recommendations go a little further.

  • Kate Hunter

    Nell, I certainly agree with the ongoing recommendations of Common Sense Media – especially in regard to the value of parents ‘co-viewing’ with children. And your past blog entry ‘Family Media Rules for the New School Year’ truly resonates. I’m proud to work for a company that believes in and promotes family values and wholesome family entertainment with a positive message. Realizing that children will continue to be exposed to and immersed in emerging digital media outlets, our founder started producing ‘SpiritClips’ with the intention of providing inspiring and motivating films (entertaining life-lessons, so to speak) that exemplify meaningful entertainment that encourages discussion between parents and children. I look forward to reading more of your blog and sharing your posts with our audience. Thank you!

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, and great to hear from Spiritclips!

Previous Posts

Interview: Adriana Trigiani of "Big Stone Gap"
Adriana Trigiani really is from a coal mining town in Virginia called Big Stone Gap and the biggest movie star in the world did choke on a chicken bone there. Now if that is not enough to inspire a book and a movie, I don't know what ...

posted 3:31:02pm Oct. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Carolyn Hax on the Toughest Media Question Parents Face
I am a huge fan of advice columnist Carolyn Hax, whose compassionate and insightful responses are always illuminating and often very funny. And I love the witty meta-commentary in the accompanying illustrations from Nick Galifianakis. Today, ...

posted 10:54:14am Oct. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara in "Trash"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"] ...

posted 8:00:26am Oct. 06, 2015 | read full post »

John Hanlon Interviews Beth Kushnick on Designing for "The Good Wife"
"The Good Wife" has one of the best production design teams on television, so I was especially interested to read the interview my friend John Hanlon did with Beth Kushnick, set designer Beth Kushnick for The Credits. I loved the way she ...

posted 2:58:59pm Oct. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: "Back in Time" -- Documentary About the Making of "Back to the Future"
[youtube][/youtube] ...

posted 8:00:15am Oct. 05, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.