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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-151

Television addiction: Implication for enhancing media literacy for healthy use of technology


1 Department of Clinical Psychology, SHUT Clinic (Service for Healthy Use of Technology), NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction Medicine, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Biostatistics, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication29-Jun-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma
Department of Clinical Psychology, SHUT Clinic (Service for Healthy Use of Technology), NIMHANS, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_26_17

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  Abstract 


Background: Television viewership is being seen as a modality of mood elevator but do leads to excessive watching of available programs. It leads to neglect of other day-to-day demands of life. The present study explored the television addiction as well as its relationship with psychosocial variables. Materials and Methods: Two thousand seven hundred and fifty-five participants (1392 males and 1363 females) in the age group of 18–65 years were approached for the administration of schedule in the house-to-house survey for screening television viewership from urban localities. Results: The study document the presence of television addiction among 79/2755 (2.9%; 3.3% males, 2.4% females). The significant difference was seen in relation to marital status, higher among the unmarried, widowed and divorced group. TV addiction had a significant negative relationship with age and years of marriage, whereas the positive relationship with a number of members in the house. Conclusions: It has implication for evolving intervention program for enhancing the media literacy of the users.

Keywords: Addiction, literacy, television


How to cite this article:
Sharma MK, Rao GN, Benegal V, Thennarasu K. Television addiction: Implication for enhancing media literacy for healthy use of technology. Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2018;34:147-51

How to cite this URL:
Sharma MK, Rao GN, Benegal V, Thennarasu K. Television addiction: Implication for enhancing media literacy for healthy use of technology. Indian J Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Aug 2];34:147-51. Available from: https://www.indjsp.org/text.asp?2018/34/2/147/235659




  Introduction Top


Addiction includes behaviors that are associated with the feeling of well being. It includes online gaming, internet use, television viewing, compulsive shopping, etc. Review of literature in this area suggests that behavioral addiction manifestations are similar to substance use in terms of psychological and behavioral patterns. It includes craving, impaired control over the behavior, tolerance, withdrawals, and relapse. The addictive quality of television refers to one's craving to view television to feel good; as a compulsion to watch television and loss of control in relation to duration of watching. Television is also being used as a method of coping to manage negative mood states. The excessive use of television is also being associated with various consequences in the form of neglecting other tasks, decreased communication with others, etc.[1],[2]

Television addiction also exhibits substance dependence like features. This includes a need for markedly increases the amount of the behavior (increased time spent with TV) to achieve the desired feeling of well being;[3] subjective urges to continue the behavior when one tries to stop engaging in the behavior (irritability when restrained from watching TV and desire to watch TV);[4] engagement in behavior over a longer period than was intended; unsuccessful efforts to reduce or cut down watching TV; reduction in engagement in psychosocial activities (ignoring family or other activities of life and indulgence in behaviors despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems.[5],[6] The excessive viewing of television is also being associated with (a) increased aggression or (b) fear of being victimized,[7] (c) attention and cognitive deficits and sleep difficulties,[8] (d) a negative impact on academic achievement among excessive users,[9] (e) avoidance of relationship maintenance,[10] and (f) poorer body image among women.[11] Users also use TV to manage his or her anxiety/unpleasant thoughts/boredom and available free time.[12]

Some of the researchers working in the area of behavioral addiction equated it with need satisfaction.[13] The pleasure or the feeling of well being a person experience from watching television may be linked to the viewer's hedonic and nonhedonic needs, from which addiction may stem.[14]

The first survey study on television addiction identified a small size of self-identified television addicts who viewed twice as much television as others.[15] Television viewing remains one of the popular activity worldwide as well as in India.[6] The last decade has seen an increase in television viewership across all age group in the Indian context. It was due to increase in a number of channels as well as TV programs (various serials includes – family, detective, cartoon and religious and cricket and Indian Premium League).[16] People watch television on an average of 2.8 h/day in the United States. Television addiction was significantly positively associated with other substance use and more commonly found among participants with exercise, caffeine, television, and alcohol use.[17] Television addiction is the second to cigarette smoking in the United States.[18] Excessive watching of television caused significant dysfunction in one's roles at work or at home.[19] They are also likely to have less participation in social and sport. Only 2% and 12.5% of adults in two separate surveys believed that they were addicted, 65%–70% believed that others were addicted. It also decreased one's communication with others.[20],[21]

There is a dearth of empirical data in relation to the presence of excessive to addictive television viewership and its implication for understanding the psychosocial response to viewing television. The present work explores the addictive use of watching television as well as its relationship with psychosocial variables.


  Materials and Methods Top


Aim

The aim is to explore television addiction in a community setting.

Objectives

The objective is to estimate the magnitude of television addiction and its relationship with psychosocial variables.

Sample

Two thousand seven hundred and fifty-five participants (1392 males and 1363 females) in the age group of 18–65 years were approached for administration of schedule in house-to-house survey for screening television viewership from urban localities. They were chosen based on the representative group of socioeconomic status in East Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. The researchers with postgraduate qualification in social science were trained in administration of tools as well as to carrying out house-to- house survey. The weekly meeting with researchers was scheduled to oversee the work. The participants with inability to read and write English or regional language and unwillingness to participate were excluded from the study. The present work had approval of institute ethic body.

Tools

Sociodemographic profile data sheet

  • This data sheet was prepared by the researcher for collecting sociodemographic information on psychosocial variables related to television viewership.


Screening checklist for television addiction

The items for screening were evolved through focus group discussion (participants were professionals working in mental health area/ substance use), overview of literature and available studies. It has 4 items. The 4 items scored in the range from-none (0) to always (4). These items were focused on craving/compulsion/control and consequences. Score of 12 and above for each state indicates presence of addiction. Content validation was carried out for these items through focus group discussions/experts rating (mental health professionals having an experience of 8–10 years).[22]

General health questionnaire – 5

This is a screening tool for probable nonpsychotic cases in routine clinical work with validity of sensitivity of 86%, specificity of 89% and overall misclassification rate of 13% with a cutting point of 2. It does not screen out psychiatric disorders. It screened out only psychiatric caseness. It does not give information about other psychiatric disorders. The product moment correlation between the subject score on the general health questionnaire (GHQ)-5 and the number of symptoms in the interview protocol was 0.86.[23]

Procedure

Two thousand seven hundred and fifty-five participants (1392 males and 1363 females) in the age group of 18–65 years were approached for administration of schedule using door-to-door survey methodology. These participants were taken from urban localities based in East Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. The participants with inability to read and write English or regional language and unwillingness to participate were excluded from the study. The profile of residents in these areas included wider representation of all economic classes. The attempt was made to include equal number of subject in each group (18–20; 21–25; 26–30; 31–35; 36–40; 41–45; 46–50; 51–55; 56–60; and 61–65). The minimum number of individuals in each age group was 60. They were administered sociodemographic data sheet, screening checklist for television addiction and GHQ. The surveyors were holder of postgraduate degree in social science and were trained in administration of tools as well as to carry out survey.

Statistical analysis

All the nominal and ordinal measure was analyzed using the suitable statistical procedure such as frequency and percentage. Comparative analysis was carried out using Pearson correlation coefficient and Chi-square were also carried out. Relationship between sociodemographic variables and television addiction and other psychiatric morbidity were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient.


  Results Top


About 36.48 years was the mean age of the sample (standard deviation [SD] was 12.999). 50.5% of them were male, 49.5% of them were female. Nearly 7.5% of the sample was single; 66.7% were married, 5.1% were widowed and divorced or separated category constitutes 0.6%. Among the married members, 10.452 was the mean years of marriage with SD of 11.67854. Among the sample, 27.1% were graduates, 10.7% were postgraduates, 24.1% were secondary education, 21.1% were having higher secondary/PU education and 9.9% were primary educational background. Nearly 5.8% of the sample were having technical/ITI education, where as 1.2% were illiterate. Regarding occupation, 36.4% of the total participants were housewives, 22.2% of the sample were semiprofessionals (teacher, pharmacist, social worker, small-scale, businessmen, nurse, government Employers, etc.). 11.4% were students 0.9.4% of the total sample were professionals which includes doctors, engineers, lawyers, military officers, scientists, writers, professors, police officers, etc. Other occupations coded in this category includes skilled workers (clerk, artisan, supervisor, tailor, mechanic, salesman, receptionist, etc.,), retired and unemployers. 70.1% of the sample belongs to nuclear family, 22.7% comes from joint family. Nearly 5.1% of the sample studied were single and among the sample, 2% belongs to single parenting families. 22.1% (n = 608) had two members in the family. Nearly 13.5% of participants belong to 5 member families. Whereas rest had 3–4 members in their family.

Television addiction was present among 79/2755 (2.9%; 3.3% of male, 2.4% of female). 4.8% expressed the desire to change their TV viewership.

[Table 1] shows the significant difference among various category of marital status. It was higher among the subjects belonging to divorced, widowed, and unmarried group.
Table 1: Indicates the association between marital status and television addiction using χ2

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[Table 2] shows the TV addiction had significant negative relationship with age and years of marriage, whereas positive relationship with number of members in the house.
Table 2: The correlation of different variables-sociodemographic and television addictions

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[Table 3] shows a significant difference in relation group with the presence of psychological distress and the absence of psychological distress.
Table 3: Indicates association between television addictions and health aspects

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  Discussion Top


The present study document the presence of television addiction among 79/2755 (2.9%; 3.3% male, 2.4% female). The significant difference was seen in relation to marital status, higher among unmarried, widowed and divorced group [Table 1]. TV addiction had significant negative relationship with age and years of marriage, whereas positive relationship with number of members in the house [Table 2]. The excessive use of TV was present more among people with the presence of psychological caseness/distress [Table 3]. 4.8% expressed the desire to change their TV viewership. In a survey among 129 participants in the age group of 18–24 years using anonymous survey (using domains of craving, control, compulsion, and consequences) to assess addiction. 26% were found to have television addiction.[24] Due to this, the potential of developing addiction to television is variable from individual to individual.[25] The American time use survey used computer-assisted telephone survey to establish television addiction among 12,500 participants.[15] In other studies, using action sampling approach, 65%–70% reported to be addict to television.[20] Researcher had used different methodology to understand the users experiences. The 3982 user in the age group of 15–98 years were assessed using a variant of the day reconstruction method survey method for understanding the relationship of age with TV use. They examined whether older people (1) enjoy TV more, (2) watch TV because it is less stressful than alternatives, or whether (3) TV use related to age differences in demographics, being alone, or life satisfaction. This data were collected in 2006 and analyzed in 2008–2009. Adults aged >65 years spent threefold more waking time watching TV than young adults.[26] Researcher have also used experience sampling methods to understand the experience, reasons, and the maintaining factors related to television and radio.[27] Whereas in the present study, it was questionnaire based survey methodology was used using door-to-door survey methodology. Subjects from wider age group and from different economic status were included. The present survey also elicited details about the association of psychological distress and sociodemographic variables with television addiction.

The study has limitation in terms of lacking the qualitative data/experience sampling. The present study did not elaborate much about the details of mood modulating and personality aspect of excessive use of television. The personality variables like sensation seeking can be the mediating factor for excessive use of television. The present study did not give details of association of other sociodemographic variables (i.e., employed/unemployed, type of viewership (selective or standard), hours of use, increased number of channel and smart TV, qualitative data about the signs/manifestation of indicators for evolving as addiction) to document the process of development of addiction to TV. The present work does not give information about parent television watching practice and its impact of children use of television.


  Conclusions Top


The current works shows the presence of addictive use of television in Indian context. It was higher among unmarried people. It also had positive relationship with number of members in the family. The excessive use of television was associated with the presence of psychological distress. The television addiction is a useful area to study for several reasons. First, there is a need to develop the estimation of addictive use of television and its relationship of availability of accessing its online. It can also be one of the variables for excessive use of internet. Second, television addiction is emerging as one of the method of coping with various mood states and psychosocial situations.

The future studies can also explored the social, psychological, and physiological correlates of television as well as how viewing time relates to addictive viewing, versus other parameters of addictive viewing (e.g., presence of withdrawals in relation to television, require more scrutiny, whether excessive use of television can be understood in terms of substitute addiction or is it one of the method to manage negative mood states or people continues to watch despite knowing the consequences).

The present work has implication for enhancing media literacy for healthy and enjoyable use of television. It will also implies in developing program for parents to make children media literate.

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi for grant awarded to Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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