Effect of cartoon viewing habits on developmental skills and attention span of preschool children

Fijo Skariah, Dhanya V. J.


Background: Mass media has an important role in the development of behaviour of children as they are exposed to it at very young age itself. Computers, television, video games and other entertainment media have become a part of their day-to-day life. The present study aimed at identification of the effect of cartoon viewing habits on developmental skills and attention span of preschool children.

Methods: The correlational research study was conducted on consecutively selected 200 preschool children from selected schools of Calicut district. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to identify the cartoon viewing habits of children and four tests (colour cancellation test, number cancellation test, colour trails test and Knox cube test) were used to detect the attention span and Vineland social maturity scale was used to detect the developmental skills. Through individual interview data from 200 preschool children and their parents were collected during a period of 6 weeks after validating the tools and the data analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Children who watched fewer cartoons have more social quotient (98%). Developmental skills are more in younger children (96%). Cartoon viewing habits have significant association with age, gender, birth order, number of siblings, and the class of study. Significant relationship between cartoon viewing habits and developmental skills.

Conclusions: The study concluded that to assess the impacts of cartoon viewing habits on developmental skills and attention span of preschool children revealed that increased duration of cartoon viewing can have detrimental effect on the attention span and developmental skills of preschool children.


Preschool children, Cartoon viewing habits, Attention span, Developmental skills

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