Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Research in the field on children's attention to television has suggested that discerning between two different types of programming is crucial for understanding how children attend to TV. Child-directed television consists of programs designed with the purpose that children are the intended viewers. In contrast, adult-directed television is not designed for children; these programs are directed toward an older audience. The current study investigated how children divided their attention between cognitive tasks and a distractor. The distractor was either an adult-directed TV program, a child-directed TV program, or there was no distractor. The results revealed that the both distractors reduced children's ability to sustain attention to the tasks compared with no distractor. The child-directed distractor significantly held children's total attention away from the tasks longer than the adult-directed distractor or no distractor. These results have implications for how television should be monitored in the home and preschool environments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.