The question of what types of children are most influenced by -- or can best benefit from -- television is a recurrent theme in the scientific literature as well as a frequently raised issue for pediatric associations, educators, and parent/citizen groups concerned about the welfare and advancement of young children. To effectively address this question, this book focuses on a wide variety of children with highly divergent cognitive abilities, social skills, and educational capacities -- that is, those labeled as emotionally disturbed, learning disabled, mentally retarded, and intellectually gifted. These children not only possess characteristics that place them at the greatest risk with regard to television's negative impact, but also in a position to most benefit from the purposeful use of the medium at home and in the classroom.
Combining literature from the fields of mass communication, developmental psychology, and special education, the authors present a comprehensive analysis of television and its "forgotten audience." Practical implications and applications in the home and school are also extracted from research findings making this volume a valuable resource for students, educators, and researchers in the fields of communication and special education, and for the parents and teachers of exceptional children.
"…the authors have provided an important resource for scholars and students of communication, child development, education, and psychology, as well as for educators, parents, and caregivers of exceptional children….More than a compilation of research findings, the authors provide a compact reference. In addition, by generating theories on the meanings of these results, they have built a solid springboard for further research."
—Journal of Communication
"This volume is a welcome foil to the television sound bite. It represents the kind of careful review and balanced interpretation of empirical evidence that we virtually never see on screen and too seldom see in print. The authors summarize what we know about how intellectual giftedness, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, and learning disability are related to television viewing and to these exceptional children's interpretations of what they watch. But they go beyond describing the potentially troubling effects of television to suggest how it might be turned to the benefit of these children, including how adults might mediate existing programming and how the medium might be made more appropriately instructive."
—James M. Kaufman
from the Foreword
Contents: Foreword. Preface. Introduction and Overview. Television Viewing Habits. Reality Perceptions. Comprehension of Television Information. Media Effects: Antisocial and Prosocial Behavior. Parental Mediation of Television Viewing. Teaching Critical Viewing Skills in School. Instructional Applications. Practical Implications and Future Directions.
The Routledge Communication Series covers the breadth of the communication discipline, from interpersonal communication to public relations, offering textbooks, handbooks, and scholarly reference materials.