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U.S. Kids Using Media Almost 8 Hours a Day
Date:1/20/2010

actually spend more time listening to music, playing games, and watching TV on their phone (49 minutes daily) than they do talking on them (33 minutes a day), the report found.

At home, too, media is pervasive. In 64 percent of homes, the TV is on during meals. In 45 percent of homes the TV is on most of the time -- even when no one is watching it, the survey found.

And when children go to their rooms, media still surrounds them, with 71 percent saying they have a TV in their bedroom and 50 percent saying they have a video game player, the researchers report.

Children in homes where the TV is left on watch an hour and a half more; with a TV in the bedroom they watch an hour more, the report noted.

The survey also found that few American parents place any rules on how much time their children spend with media. Only 28 percent of kids cited parental rules on TV watching and only 30 percent were subject to rules on video game use. In addition, only 36 percent of parents limited kids' computer time.

In homes where parents did set limits, children spend about three hours less consumed by media, the report found.

Spending time with media appeared to take a toll on school performance. The researchers found that 47 percent of kids who are heavy media users (more than 16 hours a day) got only "fair" or "poor" academic grades, compared with 23 percent of light-media users (less than three hours a day).

There were also big racial/ethnic differences in media consumption, with black and Hispanic children spending more time per day with media than white children -- about four and a half hours more, on average. This disparity has only gotten larger since 2004, according to the report.

Surfing the Internet -- especially social networking sites such as FaceBook, playing games and watching videos on YouTube and other sites -- has also increased the time kids spend on media by almost an hour a da
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