Effect of television watching on the Behaviour of pre-school children: a Comparative study of boys and girls from Thika Municipality, Kenya
Maina, Agnes Wanjiru
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This study aimed at examining the effects of television viewing on behaviour of pre-school children. It is estimated that 65% of children in Kenya, especially those from urban households' have access to violent television programmes. The problem posed by TVs violent content and its possible effects on regular viewers especially children is a critical and pressing one. Studies on the content of TV programmes have consistently found a high degree of violence present in several programmes, and this may be even greater in children. This study investigated through a gender perspective the impact of television watching on behaviour of pre-school boys and girls using a descriptive survey. The sample population for this study were 200 children comprising 100 boys and 100 girls drawn from public and private pre-schools in Thika Municipality. The method of sampling was random sampling through a three step sampling scheme from a population aged 3-5 years. Finding indicates a correlation between exposure to television and aggressive behaviour as well as differences in the behaviour portrayed in the level of aggressiveness. Majority pre-school children were exposed to television on an average 1-2 hours per day, and boys were more likely to develop aggressive behaviours than girls after violent television exposure. The study recommends that parents and caregivers should restrict television viewing time and encourage viewing prosocial and education programmes, particularly among children.