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Research Protocol

Title - The outcome of watching cartoons on the health of preschool children


1.1Introduction & background

Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.
Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and
weaken our nation.
- Nelson Mandela , 1997The children are the future of a country. Their behaviour can easily be influenced by many factors.Children develop their skills by interacting , observing
and experimenting .Various environmental factors also affect their learning
process . Earlier the environmental factors mainly consisted of family ,which
affected the psychological development and school which affected
cognitive ,social , emotional and other competencies of a child .But
today ,with the effects of globalisation and crucial development of technology
, the television has become the most prevalent media for entertainment among
children . Among the television programs ,cartoons are predominately
watched by preschoolers. It has become an electronic babysitter in most families as both the parents are employed. Children are more prone to watch television unsupervised and unselectively resulting in physical , mental and social
health changes .
Cartoons have been a part of cinema history from the time the first motion
pictures were made in the late 1800s. A cartoon is a movie made by using animation instead of live actors, especially a humorous film intended for children (Thompson, 2010)). According to the Oxford Advanced English Dictionary it is defined as a film using animation techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or objects. Memorable characters
such as Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Tweety and Sylvester, and Bugs Bunny ,Scooby Doo came to life mesmerising thousands of children for generations.
The manner by which cartoons were made has changed as well. To save the
cost of drawing and coloring every panel of animation by hand, Disney has
started using computers to do the work for them. And starting with Toy Story,
Disney has worked with Pixar to make 3D films using entirely computer animation. Since 1995 when Toy Story, the first entirely 3D movie, 15 more
movies using 3D animation have been made. Including Finding Nemo, Wall-

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E, and the Incredibles, these movies have become extremely popular amongst
kids, some of them even winning Oscars. Because of the popularity of these
films, less hand drawn or 2D animated films are coming out. The evolutionary concept of reproductive success is clear in this case, because if 3D movies
continue to make Disney more money, this new type of cartoon movie might
be the only type of movie Disney will come out with (Atonoff, 2007).
Another change in cartoons and movies because of technology is how fast
new episodes or new movies can be made. By using computers instead of
hand drawings or colorings, cartoons can be made faster than ever. A new
episode can be produced quickly enough so that a new season of a show can
have a new episode every week for several months. Shows with cleaner art
from computer programs, and have their episodes come out faster are cheaper
to make and are preferred by the creators to be shown since in the long run,
they will be more likely to make a bigger profit.(Olusola Samuel Oyero, Kehinde Opeyemi Oyesomi,2014)
Electronic media, in particular, has become so powerful over recent decades that it
has morphed into a master puppeteer pulling and shaping a childs emotional, cognitive, moral, social and physical development through incorporating onto a child,
what they want them to believe and value. The puppeteers wooden sticks mechanism is representative of the corporate greed of mass media companies such as
television networks. Every string that pulls and shapes the puppets formation symbolises various aspects of the media, whilst the puppet itself mirrors the vulnerability of a child! Each component of the media is controlling and displacing play-time
from children such as magazines replacing books, computer consoles replacing
board games, text messages replacing verbal speech(Seline Keating,2011)

Television has a variety of applications in society, business, and science. The


most common use of television is as a source of information and entertainment for viewers in their homes. People in the United States have the most
television sets per person, with 835 sets per 1,000 people as of 2000. Canadians possessed 710 sets per 1,000 people during the same year. Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Finland follow North America in the number of sets per
person (Atonoff, 2007).
Viewing among kids is at an eight-year high. On average, children ages 2-5
spend 32 hours a week in front of a TVwatching television. Kids ages 6-11
spend about 28 hours a week in front of the TV (McDonough, 2009). The vast
majority of this viewing (97%) is of live TV, 71% of 8 to 18-year-olds have a
TV in their bedroom (Rideout, Foehr & Roberts, 2010, p.16).

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Rideout, Foehr and Roberts (2010, p.2)note that young people have increased
the amount of time they spend consuming media by an hour and seventeen
minutes daily, from 6:21 to 7:38, almost the amount of time most adults spend
at work each day, except that young people use media seven days a week instead of five. This makes it plain that the potential of media to impact virtually every aspect of young peoples lives cannot be ignored. Thus this has become a global phenomenon.
In Sri Lanka ,the popularity of cartoons has skyrocketed during the past
decade.With the recent high availability of cable TV , it has gone viral among
preschoolers .Initially the cartoons were mainly educational with well versed
Sinhala dialogues ,but today due to expansion of the mass media , the majority of cartoons in Sri Lanka have become superficial , action based , and lacking proper language.
Cartoons can influence children according to its contents. It can have positive
outcomes as well as negative outcomes .
POSITIVE OUTCOMES

NEGATIVE OUTCOMES

Spoken english improvement

Physical - Less traditional childhood play ,outdoor


activities , obesity , eye sight problems

Artistic skills

Mental - Addiction, sleep deprivation, not taking


meals , fantasy, less enthusiasm for studies

Imaginative power

Social- Less time spent with the family , aggressive behaviour ,acts of violence ,experimenting
heroic acts

Entertainment
Good morals and learning inventions

Since the early 1960s, when cartoons became an established television feature, they have been the source of two major controversies: commercialization/ merchandising and violence. These two issues have taken on special significance with the cartoon since so many of its viewers are impressionable
children. The complicated issue of violence on television and its potential impact on behavior has yet to be resolved; but in response to critics of cartoon
violence, broadcasters have censored violent scenes from many theatrical
films shown on television. Oddly enough, scenes that were considered appropriate for a general audience in a theater in the 1940s are now thought to be
too brutal for todays Nintendo- educated children (Butler, n. d).

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Significance

The forces that shape children's impressionable minds are found mostly in the
environment where they grow up. Such things include the things they are exposed to on a daily basis. The has been said that cartoons have influence on
children's behavior but the nature of the influence and whether the parents as
well as children are aware of this development has not been determined in sri
lankan context. Thus, this study sought to examine the influence of cartoons on
Sri lankan children's health from perspective of the parents and children.
POSITIVES
Spoken english improvement
Imaginative power
Artistic skills
Entertainment
Good morals and learning inventions
Purpose
This research is important for parents to find out how cartoons affect the child's
health.
In the past, the media was not popular in our country. But at present children are
addicted to cartoons which affect their health.
The main purpose of the research is to determine the positives and negatives of
mental, physical and social health of children.
At the end, we hope to come to a conclusion whether cartoons are beneficial or
harmful to the child's health depending on the no of hours they spend and the
type of the cartoon.
1.2Justification

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2.Objectives
2.1 General objectives
To describe the outcome of watching cartoons on the health of preschool children in
Gampaha district
2.2 Special objectives
1.To describe the physical changes that occur in preschool children due to watching cartoon
2.To describe the mental changes that occur in preschool children due to watching cartoons
3.To describe the social changes that occur in preschool children due to watching cartoons .
3.Methods
3.1 Study design
Descriptive cross sectional study - A type of observational study that involves the analysis of data collected from a population at one specific point in time.

3.2 Study setting

- Preschools in Gampaha district


- Day care centres in Gampaha district
- Paediatric ward of hospitals in Gampaha district

3.3 Study period


Since the study is a descriptive cross sectional study ,there is no prolonged study period.The data collection will be conducted within one /two days .

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3.4 Study population
The reference population for the study includes all preschool children in the Gampaha
district .The estimated number for the parent population/ sampled population is 50
preschool children in the Gampaha district .
INCLUSION CRITERIA

EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Preschool children from 4-6 years

Physically unfit children

Male and female

Mentally unstable children

Previously healthy individuals


Middle class families with television facilities

3.5 Sample size and sampling


The sampling method is non probability , purposive sampling .The parent population will
only consist of predefined preschool children according to the inclusion and exclusion
criteria mentioned above .

3.6 Data Collection instrument /tools.


3.6.1 Variables
No of hours the child watch cartoons per day
The distance between the TV and the child
Type of cartoon - Educational , action , fantasy , fairy tale , dubbed , 2D.3D, English ,
Japanese anime
Type of network - Local TV , cable TV

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3.6.2 Methods to ensure quality of data
.The questionnair will be short ,consisting of about 20-25 questions ,roughly for about
half an hour ,thereby will not be tiring on the individual ,which will ensure that the data
will be relatively accurate and reliable .
The questions will be presented in a logical sequence .
A pretesting will be done prior to conducting the main study in order to identify problems with the meaning of the questions .
The respondents name will remain anonymous to protect the confidentiality of the respondent as it will encourage them to answer truthfully .A numbering system will be
used to the parent and the child when distributing the questionnair A and B .
The group members will cooperate with the respondent if any difficulties are faced .

3.7 Data Collection


Two types of questionnairs are designed . The first one -Questionnair A is for the
parent / guardian of the child .The second one - Questionnaire B is a simple IQ test
designed to asses the intelligence of the child in the parent population as an attempt to
find whether there is any association of intelligence and cognitive functions to watching
cartoons .
Questionnair A mainly consists of self administered questions of closed type i.e strict
alternative questions and multiple choice questions .The multiple choice questions
consists of check list and rating scale type .The questions will focus on the physical ,
mental and social health of the child .Also there is an open question at the end of the
questionnaire which allows parent/ guardian to comment on anything that the questionnaire has missed .
Questionnaire B

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3.8 Data entry

3.9 Data Analysis


The data will be analysed manually
3.10 Ethical issues

4.0 References

Atonoff, M. (2007). Television. Redmond, WA: Encarta Microsoft Corporation.


Olusola Samuel Oyero, Kehinde Opeyemi Oyesomi ,Covenant University2,
Ota, Nigeria (2014),Perceived Influence of Television Cartoons on NigerianChildrens Social Behaviour
Seline Keating ,Trinity College Dublin, Ireland ,International Journal for
Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), Volume 2, Issue 1,
March 2011 ,A Study on the Impact of Electronic Media, particularly Television and Computer Consoles, upon Traditional Childhood Play and Certain
Aspects of Psychosocial Development amongst Children
Thompson, A. (2010). Pros and cons of cartoons on children. Retrieved August 25th, 2010, from http://www.ehow.com/list_6874711_pros-cons-cartoons- kids.html#ixzz0xbVkv0R0