Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View From The Classroom

A Common Sense Research Study
November 1, 2012

Many teachers think their students’ use of entertainment media has had a negative effect on key aspects of their social development.

The biggest problem teachers identified in the survey is media’s impact on students’ sexualization. Two-thirds (67%) of teachers say entertainment media use has had a negative effect on students in this regard, including 26% who say “very negative” and 42% who say “somewhat.”

Other aspects of students’ social development that teachers think entertainment media are negatively affecting include their ideas about relationships between boys and girls (61%), their attitudes toward adults such as parents and teachers (61%), engaging in anti-social behaviors like being mean (60%), their body image (58%), and encouraging aggressive behaviors like hitting or fighting (51%).

Teachers who say they are “uncomfortable” with new technologies are more likely to see negative effects of students’ media use on their social development: 61% say media have a negative effect on aggression, and 51% say the same for the impact on pro-social behaviors (compared to 43% and 30% among “tech savvy” teachers, respectively).