Children who spend more time online (4.5 hours on an average) are 50% more likely to engage in risky behavior like taking illegal drugs, smoking, drinking, using cannabis, not using seat belts or having unprotected sex. This research was carried out by researchers from the Queen's University in Canada. They claimed that teenagers were far more likely to see 'undesirable' content online than on TV.
The research is based on social cognitive theory, which suggests that seeing people engaged in a behavior is a way of picking up that behavior. Computer usage among teens has increased in recent years. Another possible reason might be that considerable amount of advertising which was earlier shown on TV has now found its way to the internet. TV and video games have more established protocols in terms of censorship but Internet protocols are yet to be established.
AdvertisementTherefore to protect children from exposure to undesirable content, parents can make use of programs that control access to the Internet. The research is published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine.
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