INFLUENCE OF ANIMATED CARTOONS ON THE BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN

CHAPTER ONE

1.0       Introduction

1.1       Backgrounds to the Study

Childhood as a stage in the human life cycle encompasses a period of phenomenal biological, physiological, psychological, and social growth. Between infancy and the beginning of adolescence, about age twelve, the human acquires major life skills the ability to walk, talk, read, care for oneself, and come to know the world around him or her. During this time, the child first encounters the major agents of socialization:  the family, peers, schools, and media.

       Children are the future as we know, their right behaviour that can be accepted by society were established in family, communities and sociality.

          The child now is very different from the several years ago. It’s the real problem to the parent, teacher and government for handling that was a serious public problem in many socialites around the world, one of the main causes was media influence. (Saman Gnangsanit, 1999 p.29)

          The children in common society will be easy to accept the influence from environment and they have good memories to do anything because of stimulants. The brain can help to learn and do anything. It’s transformed to be their negative lifestyle and copy-cat behaviour (Dr Pang Shinnapong, Oct  2004) Children will be view violence as an acceptable way to settle conflicts. (Congressional Public Health Summit, 2000).

          Therefore, the “terms” animation and cartoon have been associated with lively and usually humorous images set in motion.

          According to Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (2001) Defines animation as giving life or liveliness to something and while, the word cartoon is referring to sketches or drawings similar to the ones we have seen in newspapers. When these words are combined to the animated cartoon they refer to a “motion picture consisting of a sequence of drawings, each so slightly different than when filmed and run through a projector the figures seem to move” (Random House, Inc.,2001, p. 82)

          The popular animated cartoons channels are: Nickelodeon, Child Smille, BabyTV, Animaux, Cartoon Network, Jimjam e.t.c and they are now available on cable tv such as Startime, Dstv, Gotv e.t.c

          Similarly, some of the popular cartoons are: Dragon Ball Z, Fruits Basket, The Simpsons, Futurama, Cowboy Bebop, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Tom and Jerry and Spider-Man e.t.c while of these cartoons are shown at the cinema hall such as Ikeja City Mall.

          It is against this background that the research examined the influence of animated cartoons on the behavioural development of children who watch animated cartoons at the Ikeja City Mall. With the view to know how cartoons influence the learning skill of children, affect the socio-cultural behaviours of children, what are the role play by parents on the cartoon viewing habits of their children.

1.2       Statement of Research Problem

            The positive and negative effect of animated cartoons on the behaviour of children attracts the attention of so many intelligent people in the state and others in the educational sector to address the problem.

The research seeks to x-ray whether exposure of children to animated cartoon influence children socialization, behaviour and attitude while children tend to behave based on what they watch on television.

Other problems are poor media law to determine what children are to watch, watching violent cartoon on television do stick to the psyche of children.

Parents and guidance lack knowledge of the implication of watching violence cartoon on their children attitude.

            To this end, the research determines to study the influence of animated cartoons on the behavioral development of children in Lagos state particularly those watching animated cartoon within the Ikeja City Mall. With the view to know how cartoon influence the learning skill of children, affect the socio-cultural behaviours of children, what are the role play by parents on the cartoon viewing habits of their children.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the influence of animated cartoon on children socio-cultural behaviours.
  2. To investigate the animated cartoon through cinema outshines other media in socializing children.
  3. To ascertain whether animated cartoon influence both male and female children equally on social learning and attitude changes.
  4. To find out whether children imitate or copy animated cartoon characters.
  5. To determine the extent on how parents influence cartoon viewing habit of their children.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. Does animated cartoon influence children socio-cultural behaviours?
  2. To what extent has animated cartoon through cinema outshines other media in socializing children?
  3. Does animated cartoon influence both male and female children equally on social learning and attitude changes?
  4. Do children imitate or copy animated cartoon characters?
  5. How do parents influence cartoon viewing habit of their children?

1.5       Significance of the Study

            The research is significance in decent that, the research will help to find the remote influence of the animated cartoon on children socialization and attitude. It will as well enable parents and guidance to determine their children exposure to animated cartoon at the Cinema Mall, computer/mobile devices and television channels such as Jimjam, Cartoon network, animaux, baby tv, child smile, nickelodeon among others.

            Therefore, this study will show parents how to be responsible for the upbringing and training of their children instead of living such training to their peers, cinema, television, teachers and determine watching hour and programme exposure of their children.

            Therefore, the findings of this research will serve as a good literature for both scholars and students of mass communication who might want to carry out similar or related research in the future.

            Media houses will also learning how to schedule their programmes and know the nature of the programmes to be televised.

1.6      Scope of the Study

            The study is limited in scope to the influence of animated cartoons on the behavioural development and socialization of children. This study intends to cover the entire children in Lagos state but time, resources and found has made the researcher to limited its research coverage to only children watching cartoons at the Ikeja City Mall, Lagos.

            This cannot be effectively talked about without considering the demographic factor of the selected children at the Ikeja Cinema Mall in terms of age, sex, class, social background e. t. c must be visited before the distribution of the research instruments (questionnaire).

1.7    Limitation of the Study

            It is not an overstatement that a work of this nature cannot be carried out without some hard experience, however, below are some of the constraints to this work. There are many limitations ranging from not knowing where to start, not knowing who to consult or approach for materials not knowing what next to write in various segments of this study and not actually knowing who to put me through in achieving my work and others are:

  1. Stress from other academic activities is one of the limitations to the research work
  2. Financial constraint to travel to different places.
  3. Duration for the research work is relatively short
  4. Materials that are available on this topic is relatively small as the concept is new or people are not written from that angle.

 1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms

Influence: it means the impact or contributions or implication.

Cinema Hall: This is a place designed for watching movies, play usually through projector or stage performance.  

Animated Cartoon: This is a graphical illustration using animate image to present information usually through cinema, television or computer to children who are the targeted audience.

Behaviour: This is the attitude of children.

Children: This refers to the adolescent baby range from birth to twelve years old. 

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