Discussion Questions

Note: In answering these questions, you will be prompted to watch two episodes of children’s television.  Therefore, plan an extra hour to complete these questions.

  1. When you were a child, what activities did you enjoy during your leisure time?
  2. Did you have much unstructured time as a child?  Why or why not? What did you do during unstructured time?
  3. Did you spend much time in nature as a child? What did you do? What do you suggest to increase time in nature for today’s children?
  4. Did your family have rules for media use or content?  How much television did you watch as a child?  What about your use of other electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, internet, and video games)? 
  5. Discuss the thin ideal.  Use Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory to explain how the thin ideal is influenced.
  6. Do you remember watching any educational videos as a small child? What were they? Look online and see if you can find one of the videos you watched as a child.  What cognitive development skill did the video try to teach? What has changed in the production of educational videos since you were a toddler? (Note: You may have to watch an episode of a new popular educational video aimed at toddlers to answer this question.)
  7. Did you watch Sesame Street as a child? Do you think it helped you prepare for school?
  8. After reading about television viewing and attention span, what is your opinion about this?
  9. What was your opinion about media and aggression before reading this chapter? What does the chapter say about media and aggression? Did your opinion about it change after reading the chapter? Why or why not?
  10. Search YouTube for an episode of Mr. Rodger’s neighborhood.  Watch a full 30-minute episode of the show.  What was this show about? What was the purpose of this episode? How does what you watched relate to content in the textbook?
  11. Think about the television shows you watch. Estimate the percentage of minorities and gay/lesbian individuals portrayed in these shows.  What do you think explains this percentage?
  12. What are your thoughts about selfies and narcissism?
  13. Do you think you were an overscheduled teenager? If not, did you know anyone who was? What were the challenges of being overscheduled? Do you think there are more positive or negative outcomes of being overscheduled?
  14. Did you participate in competitive sports or creative activities?  How do you think this influenced your development? Relate your answer to content presented in the textbook.
  15. Were you employed as an adolescent? Where did you work? What were your duties? How do you think this experience influenced your development?
  16. Were any nonparental adults influential in your life? Who was/were the person(people)?  What role did they play, and how did they influence your development? Relate your answer to content from the textbook.
  17. Did you participate in any formal mentoring programs? What was the experience like? How did it influence your development?  Relate your answer to content from the textbook.