TV addiction in Adolescents

Master's Thesis, 2013

79 Pages, Grade: M.Sc(Hons)


Table of Contents


Psycho-social factors
Behavioral factors

Personality Styles or Characteristics of Adolescents
Extraversion Personality Styles
Neuroticism Personality Styles
Theories of Television Addiction
Research on TV Addiction
TV plays an vital role in Adolescent`s lives
Negative Effects of TV on Adolescent`s Development





Personality is the total quality of an individual due to bodily pattern, mental integration and chemistry of internal functions including almost all types of introvert and extrovert traits. However, the traits of any individual’s personality development own to heredity, but electronic form of surroundings may also be considered equally important. Television is a widespread electronic media influencing adolescents’ lives. The impact of television on adolescents depends on many factors such as how they watch TV, personality factors and whether alone or with their parents and whether the parents talk with them about what they see on TV. The present study was designed to investigate the addiction level of TV in adolescents. Furthermore, it was also explore the relationship between addiction level, personality styles and television watching styles using the standardized scale. Subjects were adolescent boys and girls studying in different schools and colleges in Faisalabad. The collected data were analyzed by applying appropriate statistical techniques to interpret the results.




The word personality originates from the word “persona”. It means fake face which is usually used by actors. Personality mostly relates to individual external features which are attractiveness, communications, words, dress and gestures. Hence, a personality has one or two such features such as good or bad, strong or weak, solely on the basis of one or two such characteristics. The word personality relates with the physical attractiveness, nature, outgoingness, ease of manner, charm or any other form of behavior or attitude which induces an impression. Every phrase which indicates a way, in which an individual will act at a given situation, is a description of one’s aspect of personality. Psychological characteristics consist of different patterns like thinking, feeling and behaving that distinguish from other people (Cornbach, 1957).

Within the individual, personality is an active organization that determines exclusive change to his society (Allport, 1937). It is a regular set of intra-psychic and predilection which directly concludes psychological behavior of human beings (Maddi, 1989).

The personality development is conceived primarily as a process of learning which arises when the infant`s innate behavior is exposed to environmental circumstances. Personality and character develop chiefly during the early years. Heredity and environment both take part in the development of person`s total personality. Attitudes, habits and interests as well as character and principles including the morals as spiritual ideas, standard of life values and modes of social expression are all integral parts of personality (James, 1966).

Personality style is a person`s behavior. Principles of personality styles include quality, feature, characteristics, reactions and moods mechanism of a person. It is the unique pattern of an individual in which he thinks, feels and reacts (Oldham and Morris, 1995). The dimensions of individual`s personality are extraverts and introverts, the terms introduced by Carl Jung. Extrovert individuals are friendly, sociable, chatty, fluent with active behavior, whereas introverts are individuals who are not social and have friendless behavior. Extraversion and introversion are seen as a single band (Jung, 1995).

It is a degree in which individual is friendly, sociable and interaction with other people. These behavioral differences are a result of physiology of brain differences. Extroverts try to find pleasure with other people to increase their stimulation level whereas introverts do not like to socially interact with other people. The three major aspects of extraversion is P-E-N personality model in which psychotics and neuroticism are included (Eysenck, 1967).

Learning process of human beings just starts when he comes in this world. The learning procedure of human beings that starts in the mother`s lap. At present, adolescent socialization (the personality development of adolescent) is dependent mainly on three major social agents: family, school and media. Media socially affects human behavior. It depends on how reactions, sensations and moods can be changed. The TV connects people with machines and in turn creates awareness in the society.

Internet, TV, billboards, radio, email, magazines, fax, newspaper, narrowcasting and broadcasting are included in media. The movies, radio and TV are actually classrooms without walls. The audience is passive who simply accept what is put in front of them. People are consumers of media products; they shop around, consider alternatives and make choices on everything from cosmetics to candidates for public office. Skills, values and behaviors are learned from the media both directly and indirectly. Electronic media offers many techniques for learning especially through interactive educational programming (Oommen, 2003).

Over the past decade due to the facilities of electronic media such as mobile phone, internet, computer, knowledge of the adolescent has been enhanced. These help to reveal the adolescent social standards for particular ages that often conflict with parental standards. TV is a source of mass communication that has changed routine of many people. First of all it was a time pass and most of people could not afford it. With the passage of time it turned from a luxury item to necessity which every individual can afford. Every person watches TV daily. TV addiction, like special kinds of new addictions, is the invention of a meeting between some new psycho-social parts and other behavioral factors. Television journalism gave the first word ‘TV addiction’ (Winn, 1977). This word, TV addiction, is accepted by parents, teachers, instructors, reporters and press officers (Milkman and Sunderwirth, 1987; Winn, 1987). According to Smith (1986) 65% people consider that TV is addictive. Similarly, McIIwraith (1990) reported that 70% students believed that TV was addictive. The majority of well-educated people also believe in this concept (Winn, 1987). It appears that TV strongly influences daily life of everyone. Some psycho-social and behavioral factors are related to TV addiction.

Psycho-social factors

The main psycho-social factors which have fostered abusive behavior towards the television concern certain transformations of social functions released by the television. This has gone from being an informative and entertainment instrument used in our free time to being a real educational instrument for children and provider of models for adults. Primarily there are two reasons of the television, to notify and to think about. These have two different approaches:

Television takes a major part of an individual in daily life which is indisputable, incontestable and patent.

Television is a device with which people pass their time.

Humanization of television leads to the people stories which we follow and adopt in our daily lives. Television plays an important role as a friend, and it is important to the watcher, especially in old age. Misuse of television by teenagers is very common. People who are more attached with television means that they have more problems with their family and or working place etc. Problems of social factors have changed the daily routine of many people.

Behavioral factors

There are two major factors of behavior that play essential role in the development of television addiction: teleabuse and telefixation.


It relates to excessive use of TV. It depends on regular bases of daily life. Television addiction leads to the use of TV in people`s daily life which draw line between its wrong and right use.


This is another type of television addiction. It relates to abnormal watching of TV, e.g., to watch TV silently in dim light rooms. It is very important in the TV addiction which becomes fascinating. TV language includes pictures, figures, icons and feelings which stimulate our sensation. Scientists are of the view that television addiction is a disorder. It is difficult to control. It can occur at any age. In many cases television addiction combines with many other addictions like drug or gambling. (

Main Signs of TV addiction

To watch television for extra 2-3 hours a day

Telefixation or irregular fixation

When watching favorite programs on TV get excitement

Reduction in leisure activities so as to watch television

Depletion of social relationships and lack of interest when given exciting invitations, ignoring people when watching television and not tolerating interruptions or comments from others

Reduction in critical skills and mental passivity towards content shown on television

The wish to buy things that advertised on the television

Abnormal, frequent and chronic worry connected to news broadcasted on television.

Overcoming TV addiction

Start small. Try not watching TV for just one day a week. Make sure to replace that time with another activity that is equally or more satisfying. The best way to wean you off of TV is to replace it with another enjoyable activity, but one that's more constructive or engaging, like reading a book, listening music, talking with others.

Don't replace old shows with new ones. When a favorite show goes off the air or you stop enjoying it, don't replace it with another show. Instead, use that new free time to do something else, like calling on friends, doing a hobby, reading, or exercise. Eventually, you will cut down the shows you watch to a manageable few.

Use the TV timer. Many TVs come with a timer feature. When you start watching TV, decide how much time you want to spend there, and set the timer so that the TV turns off when that time is up. This prevents you from "lingering" on the TV, or at least it's a reminder, forcing you to turn the TV back on if you want to keep watching.

Keep a TV diary. Bringing attention to your habit, without pressuring yourself to get rid of it, can help you realize how much time you actually waste on TV. In fact, the very act of recording how much time you spend watching TV (and what you watch) is likely to reduce your habit.

Compare your TV time to the time you need to reach your unachieved goals. This is a good motivation exercise. Once you've kept a TV diary for at least a week, you'll know how much time television really takes up in your life. Now it's time to ask yourself how you can use that time more productively

Get rid of and hide TV. The rise in watching television is linked to the increase in TVs per household. Cut down on the number of TVs, and you'll cut down on TV time.

Cut down on channels. Another reason people are watching more TV is because there are more channels. Look into downgrading your cable or satellite package (and you'll save some money, too!).

Use recording devices to your advantage. Even though recording devices like DVR are associated with an increase in TV watching you can also use them for the opposite effect. Make a rule that you will only watch recorded shows. Then place a limit on how much TV you can record. This will force you to be more selective about what you watch.

During the 20th century, TV has become an important part of people`s lives. Wide range of media activities is available on TV now-a-day as 21st centaury started. In Pakistani homes, adolescents have television channels like Geo, Star plus, Hum TV etc on which they watch dramas, movies, etc. American adolescents have TV facility which has more than 100 channels and they also have many entertaining sources like video games and computers (Rideout, et al. 1999). There is no doubt that TV has an influence on children from a very early age and it will continue to affect their cognitive and social behavior (Huston, 1992).

For adults and children who participate in computer games, use the computer for manipulating words, information, chart images and especially for those who learn to program, as a result computers enter into the development of personality and sexuality (Turkle, 1984). The influence of TV addiction on youth behavior is significant because so much of their time is spent on it. This can positively or negatively affect their behavior. TV representations do not mimic real life. They represent situation which is not very realistic. Media do not tell the requirements of daily life of human beings. Adolescents who watch media get apparent and inaccurate view of reality (Harrison et al., 2000).

The TV plays a major role in adolescents' entertaining behavior. According to health sciences, media is dangerous to social activity and adult’s development of health. Boys pass more time on computers, games and internet as compared to girls. Girls mostly listen to radio and play games on their mobiles. Girls and boys are fond of watching TV and videos (Lampert, 2007).

Analysis of TV addiction exposure on the moral development of young children is important for two major reasons. The years two to seven are vital for a child`s moral development. Watching more television per day than any other activity in their childhood adversely affects personality development. The presence of television in the lives of young children is undeniable (Albright, 1994). Children see horror films during their childhood and they play violent games. Fourteen ages of children will show criminal behavior (Hopf et al., 2008). Fears, panic, horror, anxiety, stress, bad hallucinations and predisposition towards wrong behavior of adolescents are a result of numerous and regular exposure to murder movies, and stories filled up with violent suffering behavior and torture that adolescents view on TV and in the movies (Yama, 2001).

Personality development of youngsters is largely affected by media. Many cultures are using dramas, stories and arts to create awareness about culture and ethics to the younger generation. All forms of media affect personality development of adolescents. Almost one third of waking hours of youngsters are wasted in television and listening to radio that amounts to 21 to 23 hours in a week is wasted by adolescent in watching television (Simpson, 1999). According to US survey, adolescents of eighteen years watch TV about six hours and twenty-one minutes in daily routines (Jutt, 2009).

Electronic media, specifically television and computer games have intrinsically good or bad effects. With parental and teacher cooperation, parent awareness and child education, electronic media may be helpful in personality styles (Seline, 2011). Adolescents watch more commercial TV for longer hours when parents do not pay attention on the content of program and the amount of viewing time. These adolescents can remain busy in many other beneficial activities when they do not watch TV (Palmer, 1988).

Gillard`s ethnography of 23 youngsters viewing television at home, established the importance of parental rules and control of family routines in affecting how, when and what young children view on television. In families where parents impose rules and practices about amount of time spent viewing and possibly, the content of what was viewed, youngsters watch TV for non-commercial programs (Gillard, 1992).



Personality Styles or Characteristics of Adolescents

James (1991) assessed personality style and media first choice (television programs, movies and music) from questionnaire. He conducted that individual personality mostly depend on their media choices. He identified different levels of neuroticism and psychotisim.

Seth (1997) investigated five factor model of personality correlated to mass media. He collected data about students of different universities who spent their time using media and participated in non-mediated activities. Five personality bands are related with television watching, listening to radio; reading different books etc. the highest relationship are found in between openness and reading books, extraversion and reading negative books, negative TV watching and openness. Person who has qualities of extraversion and agreeableness showed more conversation qualities.

Joseph (1997) found that television is the medium with greatest potential for transmitting information and beliefs from one group to another. It is particularly influential in the personality styles of youngsters. He reported that television is found in almost every home, it requires only minimal scales and its visual makes it particularly appealing to youngsters.

Christina et al. (2002) estimated the personality of individual with TV watching. The research was conducted on 310 students to complete the questionnaire. The first questionnaire was to explore the youngsters TV watching behavior for example presence and absence of horror TV scenes, its detrimental effects and time duration. The second questionnaire was PI (personality inventory). Personality styles were interrelated with TV watching preferences in children. The know-how of horror TV scenes was interrelated with detrimental psychological effects in youngsters with increases of extraverts, sociability, good humor, friendliness and disturbing insecurity. High TV watching duration was seen in individuals with increase of friendliness, directness, honesty, carefulness and precision. The present study showed the relationship between personality styles and TV watching of youngsters.

Tel (2002) suggested the relationship between model of personality kinds (P-E-N) described by Eysenck and internet was examined in his study. He reported the using of internet and web using activities. He described different patterns of internet and related them with personality styles of different people. Adults who score high neuroticism have a feeling a sense of belonging.

Oommen (2003) reported that in childhood personality is largely affected by media programs. All moral values taught by parents or religions are completely ignored by children because of TV addiction.

Niaz (2004) studied that TV played a vital role in the development of adolescent`s personality, attitudes and behavior. Due to the danger of vulgar, sex obsessed and violent movies, majority of respondents were in favor of negative impact of TV on the attitude of their youngsters. Therefore it is suggested that efforts be made to keep youngsters away from all such programs which can ruin the personalities of their youngsters.

Adel (2012) researched that media strongly effect the children`s personality. The research lacks a true understanding that children are a powerful effect of communication. The present paper shows the effects of media and entertainment of individual’s personality styles which are based on literature. The conclusion was based on two points. (1) Media externally regulates human personality. (2) Entertainment affects the learning procedure. Future research should depend on these features.

Extraversion Personality Styles

Eysenck (1967) experimentally studied about extroverts people. He said that major aspects of person`s personality have some biological reasons. His research was based on shyness, embarrassment and self-consciousness which affect the behavior. He argued that introversion adults have more excited than extraverts.

Jung (1971) introduced the popular terms extraverts and introverts. He said that they are different types of people having different personalities. Extraverts people have broad vision only outside world and introverts people mostly depend on their inside mental level. He also examined that extraverts’ people have disorder of hysteric whereas introverts people have mood disorders.

Five Factor Model

Costa and McCrae's (1997) argued that personality styles have 5 factors of personality model and he said that extraverts are a primary factor. The model was hierarchically introduced that every higher factors has six lowest factors. In extraversion case the facts are love, affection, kindness, and action, motion and positive feelings. The feature of extraversion in the five factor model is engaged in social behavior.

Neuroticism Personality Styles

Alice (2005) examined the different facts of personality on watching movies, TV and listening radio. Extravert’s people were positively associated and engage in watching movies and listening different types of movies. Neurotic people listen more pop music but on the other hand psychotic people watch more romantic and comedy movies. These observations change among audience that how personality styles are shown in behavior of media.

Jae and Bryant (2007) observed three personality styles (E, N,P) and these depends on different TV programs e.g. dramas, movies and cartoons etc. he examined the behavior of 381 students of college showing negative relation between psychotics with reports and true show watching. There was a positive connection between extraversion and interest to reality programming. Finally, neuroticism was positively correlated with attention to all varieties assessed.

Davies and John (2009) conducted the research on the strategies of managing mood and TV preferences of 169 students. Respondents completed Big Five Inventory in an interview and after interviewing they give chance to see television programs that disrupt cognitive development. Neurotic people showed more negative behavior. TV affected the mood and influenced recognition of neurotics. However, when stress is extreme, personality characteristics are ranked and mood of different person related to different media programs.

Theories of Television Addiction

McLuhan (1964) observed about advance technology of television with the watcher attention. He called TV a drug. He observed that television technology was responsible of younger generation that badly effect on their moral and religious values. Others have collected data about TV programs which create passive and lead to excessive use (Singer, 1980). He observed that TV misuses the imagination of younger generation (Singer & Singer 1983).

Milkman and Sunderwirth (1987) reported that addiction of TV is actually as an “oral” level addiction from which people can cope with their negative feelings. They linked TV addiction to over eating and an oral personality behavior is found in different addicts.

Kubey (1996) observed that TV has little effect on those people who watch less TV. If they watch TV for longer duration it heavily effect on their health. Heavy effects of watching TV are to avoid healthful and entertaining activities, impairment in the development of thoughts and mind play and other effects. Television watching is more common debate of now a day.

Research on TV Addiction

Fredrick and Lessan (1985) conducted an experimental research on 195 individuals through different semantic scales. The different characteristics of scale were different ideas. Thought, notion, relationship with good buddy, social contacts, colleagues and best TV icons. In many types of media icons news commentator was most like by the people.

Gavriel (1986) researched on the educational facts of television has been marred by a number of blunders that stand in danger of being repeated in the new wave of educational research on computers. Despite the clear differences in purpose and scope between television and computers, some useful lessons can be drawn from earlier assumptions about learning from television. "Computer researchers" should do the following: (a) avoid asking whether computers teaches better than some putatively comparable medium; (b) utilizes holistic as well as standard experimental research paradigms, particularly during the early phases of research; (c) learners bring active learning strategies with new technology; and (d) a range of experience and use of computer among different peoples.

Kubey (1986) observed that heavy watching of people are those who were idle and when they feel lowliness. He gave the result that heavy TV watching was the result of higher stress which occurs mostly in their free time.

Smith (1986) observed the behavior of TV addicted people with different scales. For example, more television watching, lack of selectively in programs watched, blame about TV viewing. Most people showed that these behaviors are not present in them. Only 2.2% people showed that they were highly addicted to TV and they do not adopt any other addictive behavior.

Robert (1989) observed that heavy TV viewers may even develop intolerance for life`s daily activities because they are not full of sight and sound as the rapid mixture of images presented to them via contemporary television.

Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi (1990) used Experience Sampling Method to study television in the natural condition. They observed that during watching television people were very relaxed and less efforts was done from these people. The most common use of TV provides relaxation to people than any other type of activity.

Robert et al. (1991) reviewed the TV addiction and gave different models of TV addiction. The information in these models suggested that (1) TV addiction is related to thoughts and daydream life. (2) TV affects the stimulation level. (3) A demonstration of verbal, needy traits or persona. (4) A separate pattern and fulfillment which is associated with TV. This research showed that TV was relaxed and it lowers their negative effects.

Seth (1992) examined a relationship between drug and TV addiction with looking for senses, unfriendliness and aggression, lack of sympathy, family structure and organization. Alcohol and drugs were inversely associated with time duration for viewing TV. Researcher concluded that disease model of TV addiction have no pragmatic and practical hold.

Anderson et al. (1996) investigated that female respondents who were associated with TV addiction are more stress. It reported that addiction of TV is related to more TV watching to avoid stressful condition.

Carry (2004) discovered a relationship between normal and problem TV watching. The TV addiction has 2 trustworthy measures. One trial contains 4 different factors of addictive attitudes, increase in watching and know about problems. The second trial is dependable.

Bruno et al. (2007) observed that to watch TV is an individual’s hobby in leisure time. There are many advantages to watch TV except to engage in any other works. Persons who do not have control in watching TV have not achieved their important goals. Persons who watch too much TV is not satisfied in their life. Long watching of TV is linked to increase trauma and stress in their life.

McIIwraith (2009) after a survey accepted the statement “I am addicted to television”. He completed TV addiction scale and Eysenck personality questionnaire from respondents of 18 to 72 years old people. TV addicts were more disturbed, shy and easily fed up. They divert their attention from horrible feelings and regulate their moods.

Lawrence (2009) reduced bad effect of TV addiction by conducting research on 496 children in 32 classrooms. Respondents were interviewed earlier involvement. After comparing the results he reported that 242 children are addicted to TV and other violent heroes in TV programs. Their attitudes were more critical towards television addiction.

TV plays an vital role in Adolescent`s lives

Schulman (1979) reported that media is a vital role in the lives of human beings. It is demonstrated that TV plays a role in attitudes, creating unprecedented opportunities for few and wonderful learning experiences.

Grotta and Newsom (1982) conclude that people with cable television tend to use all news media more extensively than those without it, but that cable greatly reduces the audience for news on local television stations.


Excerpt out of 79 pages


TV addiction in Adolescents
Human Development and Family Studies
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
830 KB
Quote paper
Hajira Awan (Author), 2013, TV addiction in Adolescents, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: TV addiction in Adolescents

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free