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Journal of Behavioural Sciences, Vol.

20, Number 1, 2010

Cumulative Effects of TV Viewing on the Adjustment of


Adolescents in Relation to Their Academic Performance
Hemant Lata Sharma
Directorate of Distance Education, M. D. University, India.
Sanjeev Tomar*
Department of Education, M.P. Govt. (PG) College, India.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the
influences of television viewing, gender and academic
achievement on adjustment among the school going
children. In this investigation, the influence was measured
on a sample of 640 adolescents (320 light TV viewers and
320 heavy TV viewers) with gender equivalence from low
and high achievers. Adjustment Inventory (Mittal, 2006)
was administered. Findings revealed that girls were higher
on home and social adjustment as compared to boys, while
boys were found to be higher on health adjustment as
compared to girls. Higher achievers scored significantly
higher than low achievers on home, health, school and total
adjustment, whereas no significant difference was observed
in the adjustment of light TV viewers and heavy TV
viewers.
Keywords: Adjustment, TV Viewing, Gender and
Academic Performance/ Achievement.

In this era, television is considered as the most potent and the easiest
means to affect the lives of millions of human beings viewing. Today,
life minus TV viewing is almost unthinkable. It is taken to be the most
dominating medium of communication and its impact is being observed
in each aspect of human routine life. It is an educational medium
considered to be having tremendous potentials for providing
information, entertainment as well as education. On the other hand,
some fear that it has detrimental effects on the health, the psychological
make-up and personality of the children.
*Correpondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sanjeev Tomar,
Lecturer, Department of Education, M.P. Govt. (PG) College, Hardoi-241001
(U.P.) India.Email- sanjeevbrt@rediffmail.com
**Prof. Dr. Sharma is Professor of Education, Directorate of Distance
Education, M.D. University, Rohtak -124001, India.
Email-piscean_hemant@yahoo.com

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Sharma and Tomar

The impact of television viewing during adolescence period is


paramount as this is a very sensitive and impressionable age. This the
prime period of life when sound personality of an individual needs to
be channelized and crystallized such as it becomes the guiding force for
the future life. Today, most of the parents feel highly tensed as soon as
their child enters into adolescence. They do not trust their childs
judgment considering it to be an outcome of his immature decision
highly affected by TV viewing and peer pressure. Most of people
consider TV, the wonder child of mass-media, to have bad influence;
and feel that TV corrupts the tender minds of children and the longer
the sitting, the greater the impact on their academic achievement.
Misra, Misra, and Khaltri (1985) found that the amount of viewing may
have a differential influence, effect of TV viewing may also be
observed on academic performance or intellectual growth of children.
Ris, Thomas, and Fredrick (1975) suggest that those childrens
achievement is not affected who watch TV for normal amount of time
i.e. 2-3 hours per day. In this line Jaiswal, and Jaiswal (1991) revealed
that television programmes of afternoon transmission are equally
effective for government school boys and girls. Similarly, Greenstein
(1954) showed a non-significant trend but favouring positive effect of
TV ownership on learning. While, Page, and Crawley (2001) found
higher secondary teachers saying that cognitive abilities of their
students were seriously affected by TV viewing.
According to Shejwal (2005) light viewers were found to be better
than heavy viewers in the cognitive skills of analytical thinking, figure
evaluation. Academic achievement up to a large extent affects the
adjusting power of the children with family members, peers and the
environment around. Adjustment generally refers to relationship
between individual being and ones environment; and is considered as
one of the major constituent of every personality. There is big hand of
TV viewing in the lives of people of all ages especially children during
their adjustment process with others and their environment. Margarett
(1969) found that television viewing have an on childrens general
knowledge, school work, study habits, adjustment, attitude and leisure
time activities. Similarly, Dunn, Josepson, and Wells (1977) found that
high amount of television viewing was related to low adjustment of
viewers. Shejwal (2005) stated that light viewers were found to be
better, also girls were found to be better than boys. Television has
totally changed the living pattern of human beings, their thinking ways

TV viewing, Adjustment of Adolescents and Academic Performance

19

and time schedules. We can observe the impact of television viewing in


every field of school childrens activities easily.
Promila, and Dilsheed (2000) found that those parents who punish
their children physically and express dissatisfaction with their
childrens accomplishments and characteristics are responsible for their
childrens preferences to watch more and more TV. Since their
relations with parents are unsatisfactory, they spend more time
watching TV (Eron, 1982). Researchers have reported that the modern
families have become less able to socialize children effectively because
of reduced parental authority and less able to provide care, affection
and companionship to the children. In the words of Anuradha, and
Bharathi (2001) television as a wonder child of mass media is often
blamed by the parents for childrens poor academic performance.
Several authors opined that in order to reduce negative effects of
television viewing on children, parents should control their childrens
excessive TV watching (Rajani, 1987; Singer, 1989; & Prawd, 1995).
So, in order to reduce the amount of TV watching by the children and
also to improve their academic performance, parents have to exercise
certain disciplinary practices. Haseen, and Masthans (1998) comments
pertinently pinpoint the importance of television in class room
teaching. Television is a powerful medium and if properly integrated
with classroom teaching, it can definitely make the teaching-learning
process more dynamic, effective, meaningful and interesting and thus
helps in improving the quality of education which is our ultimate aim
of today. Joshi, and Gautam (2002) emphasized that most of the parents
do not trust the childs judgment and it has been seen that at this age,
children rely more on their friends, media rather than their parents. As
stated earlier, most people consider TV to have a bad influence and
they feel that TV will corrupt the tender minds. Hence it was felt that
the study of TV viewing pattern of adolescents would give us an insight
into the impact of TV on them and may break some existing myths and
replace them by some positive facts. Singh, and Kaur (1997) studied
the impact of TV programmes on the socio-psychological behaviour of
urban primary school children as perceived by their mothers. The result
revealed a positive impact of TV on the psycho-social behaviour of the
primary school children. Results also indicated positive effect of TV
viewing on certain biographical data like health, education, age, income
and time-duration etc.

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Sharma and Tomar

Dorr, and Rabin (1995) found that those children who spend several
hours a day watching television no matter what the content being
telecast are found less social. There were fairly good evidences that
greater amounts of viewing were associated with less satisfactory social
relationship, fewer inter-personal interactions, lower reading skills,
lower schools achievement and fatter bodies. Kaur (1998) stated that
television is a potent medium of information, education and
entertainment. It is one of the most significant technological
developments for the uplifting of society. The researchers have, on one
hand tried to explore the TV viewing behaviour of different age groups;
and on the other, the impact of TV viewing on the knowledge, attitude
and awareness of viewers. The viewing of TV has influenced the social
life of both urban and rural adults. The researchers studied the TV
viewing behaviour of adults (Thomas, & Tiwari, 1986; Narayanan,
1987; Joshi, & Lahoria, 1992; Rao, 1992; Tiwari, Singh, & Rath, 1997)
impact of TV viewing on their knowledge, attitude and awareness
(Chopra, 1990; Ananthasayanam, Prama, & Vidhya, 1992) as well as
on different aspects of life (Narayanan, 1987; Chopra, 1990 & Rao,
1992).
The research studies mentioned above reveal that TV viewing has
varying effects on teenagers. Although the above research findings are
conflicted and contradictory yet they are enlightening. The present
endeavor explores the impact of TV viewing on the adjustment of
school going children in relation to their gender and academic
achievement differences.
Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated for verification in
the present study:
1. Significant difference is likely to exist in the adjustment of
light and heavy TV viewers dimension wise.
2. Significant difference is likely to exist in the adjustment of
boys and girls component wise.
3. Significant difference is likely to exist in the adjustment of
low and high academic achievers dimension-wise.
4. Duration of TV viewing x Gender is likely to affect
adjustment of children dimension wise.
5. Gender x Academic achievement is not likely to affect
adjustment of children dimension wise.

TV viewing, Adjustment of Adolescents and Academic Performance

21

6. Duration of TV viewing x Academic achievement is not


likely to affect adjustment of children dimension wise.
Method
The primary intention of the study was to explore the impact of TV
viewing, gender and academic achievement individually and jointly on
the adjustment of children. The adopted methodology and procedure of
the study are as follows:
Research Design
A 2x2x2 Ex-post Facto non-experimental factorial design
comprising of three independent variables viz duration of TV viewing,
gender and academic achievement was employed. Duration of TV
viewing was varied into two levels-light TV viewers and heavy TV
viewers and similarly academic achievement into two levels low and
high achievers. The extreme grouping of light and heavy TV viewers;
and low and high academic achievers were set by using the formula
M+SD; while Gender being a dichotomous variable.
Sample
To meet the requirements of 2x2x2 factorial design, the stratified
random sampling technique was applied. The respondents in the
present investigation were ranging from 16 to 18 years (M=16.5) and
belonged to the families of middle socio-economic status. 848
respondents were chosen for the sample in the first instance, the final
chosen sample of 640 adolescents was as per the need of 2x2x2 cells
(80 in each cell of the set paradigm) from 19 Indian Govt. aided
schools of Meerut district (U.P.) India.

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Sharma and Tomar

Total
Sample
640

Light TV
Viewers
160

Boys
80
LA
35

Heavy TV
Viewers
160

Girls
80

HA LA
35
35

Boys
80
HA
35

LA
35

HA LA
35
35

Girls
80
HA
35

Figure
Hierarchy of Sample Selection
Key: LA = Low Achievers HA = High Achievers

Assessment Measures:
The following instruments were used for the collection of the data in
the study.
1) Adjustment Inventory. The inventory was developed by Mittal
(2006) which measures the adjustment in four areas namely home,
social, health and school. This revised inventory of 80 items was used
to measure the adjustment among the children. Responses were scored
on 3 point-rating scale; yes, no and not-certain. The possible range of
the obtained scores on the scale may be from 80 to 240. High scores are
the indicative of superior adjustment, while low scores indicate poor
adjustment. The reliability co-efficient in four areas ranges from .44 to
.80. The inventory has been validated against two external criteria and
23
validity co-efficient ranges from .59 to .69.
2) Student Information Blank. It (SIB) was employed to find out
the demographic parental and personal characteristics of students.

TV viewing, Adjustment of Adolescents and Academic Performance

Procedure
In the existing study, the respondents were given Student
Information Blank (SIB) and a scale for the measurement of
adjustment to procure the necessary information in the group setting
under proper supervision as per instructions mentioned in the manual.
The scoring was done strictly as per the instructions given in the
manual. The necessary statistical techniques were applied to assess the
effects of independent variables upon the dependent variable i.e. the
raw scores of the collected data was treated for statistical analyses by
calculating mean, standard deviation and ANOVA.
Scoring
Every category of response was given a score maximum score to be
given on an item as 3, doubtful response 2 and one 1 score was to
be given on the rest of item. There are separate scoring stencil for each
page area-wise. One can easily see how many responses are encircled
in the coloured punch of the stencil i.e. for 3 score. Then we count such
responses for each page and multiply that number by 3. Then we count
encircled responses in ? doubtful category and multiply that number
by 2. Now, we count the rest of the encircled responses. Adding all the
scores obtained for a particular area on all the pages, this gives us the
scores of particular sub-scale. Then, we count total scores, so obtained,
on the cover page of the inventory. The total scores obtained reflect the
overall adjustment score.
Results
To ascertain the difference among light TV viewers and heavy TV
viewers, male and female adolescents; and low and high achievers; the
data were analyzed by following mean, standard deviation and three
way ANOVA (2x2x2 factorial design).
The results (table 1) on adjustment of participants in relation to their
TV viewing duration show that no significant difference exists in the
adjustment of light and heavy TV viewers.

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Sharma and Tomar

Table 1
Mean, Standard Deviations and F-ratios of Light TV and Heavy TV
viewers on Sub-scales of Adjustment (N=640)

Sub-Scales of
Adjustment
Home Adjustment
Social Adjustment
Health Adjustment
School Adjustment
Total Adjustment
df = 638

Light TV viewers
(n = 320)
M
47.89
46.68
45.98
45.03
185.57

SD
6.80
6.09
6-78
6.36
20.51

Heavy TV
viewers
(n = 320)
M
48.76
47.52
45.96
45.89
188.12

SD
3.37
5.62
7.61
6.65
20.22

F
2.82
3.37
.00
2.85
2.56

On the second independent variable, gender- boys and girls


significantly differed in the areas of home, social and health
adjustment. The mean scores show that girls are found to be higher on
home and social adjustment as compared to boys, while boys are found
to be higher on health adjustment as compared to girls (Table 2).
Table 2
Mean, Standard Deviations and F-ratios of Boys and Girls on
Subscales of Adjustment (N=640)

Sub-Scales of
Adjustment

Home Adjustment
Social Adjustment
Health Adjustment
School Adjustment
Total Adjustment
df = 638, **p < .01

Boys
(n = 320)

M
47.63
46.24
46.99
45.08
185.39

SD
6.07
5.76
6.88
6.60
19.81

Girls
(n = 320)

M
49.02
47.95
44.95
45.83
187.75

SD
7.03
5.85
7.37
6.41
20.95

F
7.23**
13.85**
13.15**
2.15
1.27

TV viewing, Adjustment of Adolescents and Academic Performance

25

On third independent variable academic success/achievement, low


and high achievers significantly differ in home, health, school and total
adjustment. The mean scores indicate that high achievers are found to
be higher on the home, health, school and total adjustment as compared
to low achievers (Table 3).
Table 3
Mean, Standard Deviations and F-ratios of Low and High Achievers on
Subscales of Adjustment (N=640)

Sub-Scales of
Adjustment

Low Achievers
(n = 320)

M
47.38
Home Adjustment
46.95
Social Adjustment
45.16
Health Adjustment
44.80
School Adjustment
184.29
Total Adjustment
df = 638, * p< .05, **p < .01

SD
6.85
5.69
6.94
6.98
20.43

High Achievers
(n = 320)

M
49.27
47.24
46.78
46.11
189.40

SD
6.21
6.05
7.36
5.94
20.06

F
13.40**
0.40
8.35**
6.59*
10.23**

On the interaction AxC (table 4) significant difference is found in


the school adjustment only among all areas of adjustment. While no
significant difference was observed on the interaction AxB and BxC at
any areas of adjustment. On AxBxC interaction, significant differences
are found on each dimension of adjustment except home adjustment.
Table 4
Interactional Effects of TV viewing (A), Gender (B) and Academic
Success (C) on Subscales of Adjustment (N=640)
Subscales of Adjustment
Home Adjustment
Social Adjustment
Health Adjustment
School Adjustment
Total Adjustment
df = 1,632, *p< .05,**p < .01

AxB
.54
1.39
1.43
.10
1.02

BxC
1.32
1.03
2.24
.95
.62

AxC
1.18
1.12
.07
5.17*
2.17

AxBxC
3.74
10.11**
6.40*
7.23**
7.51**

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Sharma and Tomar

Discussion
The basic intention of the existing study was to compare light and
heavy TV viewers. The obtained results point out that there is no
significant difference between the light and heavy TV viewers in their
adjustment at any dimension (Table 1). This highlights that amount of
TV viewing does not affect the adjustment of the TV viewers if the
television programmes are watched by the children under the proper
supervision of the parents.
Another prominent purpose of the present effort was to compare the
adjustment of male and female children. The findings show that female
children are found to be richer on home and social adjustment as
compared to male children. Similarly, Maccoby, and Jacklin (1974)
found that female children excel in verbal/ language ability as
compared to male children. However, male children are found to be
richer on health adjustment as compared to female children. The
probable reason may be that female children by nature are very soft
spoken, cute and kind hearted. These qualities generate high rate of
love, friendship and mutual understanding in female children. These
traits help in their home and social adjustment too. However male
children are found to be lover of having good built body. The reason is
that male has been considered as symbol of power since the time
immoral. The probable reason to have enough consciousness about
health in male children is that they are at the age of adolescence when
the male children want to impress female children by showing their
well built body structure This finding is supported by studies that
investigated physical activity patterns among adolescents suggested a
difference between genders (Malina, 1996). Similarly, relationship of
physical activity with gender had been reviewed and observed that
female adolescents were 15% to 20% less active than male adolescents
(Sallis, 1993).
Another prominent purpose of the present study was to compare the
adjustment of low and high achievers. High academic performers are
found to be higher on home, health, school and total adjustment as
compared to low academic achievers. The probable reason may be
highly family praise, co-operation from family and peers, regards from
classmates and teachers towards high academic achievers. All these
make the high academic performers always higher on the healthy
adjustment in home, health, school and total adjustment whereas low
academic performers are often rebuked in home and school. This makes

TV viewing, Adjustment of Adolescents and Academic Performance

27

them mentally and physically disturbed. They are often found indulged
in quarrelling and unhealthy practices in schools. All these shape them
lesser adjusted in home, health, school and in total as compared to high
academic achievers.
On the interaction AxB and BxC, no significant difference existed in
any area of adjustment; whereas on the interaction AxC, significant
difference was observed in school adjustment. The probable reason
may be high F ratio in the school adjustment of academic achievers. On
the interaction AxBxC, significant difference was observed in social,
health, school and total adjustment. The probable reason may be very
high F ratios at duration of TV viewing or at academic performance.
Conclusion
On the basis of the obtained findings, it is concluded that gender and
academic performance variables exert the influence on the adjustment
at large. Significant difference was observed on AxC interaction. It
further indicates that these variables exert more impact on the
adjustment of children in combination simultaneously whereas the
effect was found lesser when these variables operate individually.

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