Effects Of Television Programming On Preschool Children’s Social Development In Westlands District, Nairobi
The rapid convergence of mass media and communication technologies has made television clearly part of the lives of hundreds of millions of children around the world. Despite this,little is known about the effects of television programming on children’s social development. There is lack of research for example among pre-scholar to establish what they watch and the amount of time they spend watching it. The study therefore sought to establish the effects of television programming on pre-school children’s social development in Westlands District,Nairobi. The objectives of the study were to find out the types of programs that pre- schoolchildren watch and their effects on social development, establish the duration children spentwatching the television programs and to assess the kind of social interactions associated with TV viewing among pre-scholars. The study employed descriptive research design. Simple random sampling and systematic sampling were used to select the sample size. A sample of 58 parents, 58 children and 6 teachers formed the respondent in this study. The study used interview schedule and observation checklist as instruments for data collection. The validity of the questionnaires was enhanced through pilot study in two schools. Validity of the instrument was done by supervisors and examiners in Department of Education. Research permit was sought in the City Education Department and consent letter from the University of Nairobi to carry out the study. Data collected was coded, cleaned and categorized manually by researcher, transferred to computer sheet and processed by use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The data was then analyzed using frequency distribution tables and percentages for all items. The study established that 96.6% of families interviewed had televisions in their homes, when they are out of school, 93.5% of children watch television and the most watched program by the children are cartoons (86.2%). The study concludes that television is an instrument of change among pre-scholars. The study recommends exposure of children to a wide variety of positive and captivating recreational options, parental involvement in television watching in order to offer guidance, consideration of policy that provides capacity building for pre-school teachers in areas like guidance and counseling to better manage the children who show aggressive behavior towards other children. The implementations of the recommendations by all stakeholders will contribute to reducing the negative impact of television programming on pre-school children.