Social-Ecological Correlates of Excessive TV Viewing: Difference by Race and Sex

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Susan B. Sisson
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Stephanie T. Broyles
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The primary and secondary purposes were to examine social-ecological correlates of excessive TV viewing (>2hr/day) in American children 1) between race/ethnic groups and 2) between boys and girls.


Children (n = 48,505) aged 6 to 18 years from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health were included. Social-ecological correlates included individual-, family-, and community-level variables. Logistic regression analyses were used for race/ethnicity [Non-Hispanic White (NHW), Non-Hispanic Black (NHB), Hispanic, other] and sex groups (boys, girls), to determine associated correlates.


By race/ethnicity, 16.6%, 37.8%, and 24.5% of NHW, NHB, and Hispanic exceeded recommendations. For boys and girls, 23.7% and 18.2% viewed excessive TV. Having a TV in the bedroom and higher poverty level were associated with excessive TV in all groups. Differences by race/ethnicity were age, sex, TV in the bedroom, extracurricular activities, physical activity, adequate sleep, family structure, family meals, knowing child’s friends, parent/ child communication, and neighborhood characteristics. Differences by sex were family structure, parent/ child communication, family meals, and neighborhood elements.


Social-ecological correlates and associated prevalence of excessive TV viewing differed across subgroups. These specific correlates can be targeted in tailored interventions.

Sisson is with the Dept of Nutritional Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Broyles is with the Dept of Population Sciences, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA.

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