Abstract: The study investigated the influence of animated cartoons on the behavioral development of children in Ikeja City Mall. Cartoon is a socializing agent because it mimics reality while pupils who found cartoon interested tends to cultivate and follow the bahaviour exhibited by the cast which could be negative or positive depend on the nature of cartoon exposed to often. The study was anchored on the Behaviour Theory, Social Learning Theory and Cultivation Theory. A survey research method was employed while questionnaire was adopted to elicit responses from respondents who were selected using accidental sampling technique. The data collected were analyzed in descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method) and the data were presented with the aid of tables. Findings show that all the children enjoy watching animated cartoons at the Ikeja City Mall Lagos. Equally, majority of the children spend between 4-6 hours watching cartoons. Children watch cartoon at the Ikeja City Mall weekly dominated others that come daily. Also, animated cartoon through cinema has not outshines other media in socializing children. However, children now addicted to animated cartoon as they cannot do without, in fact it is part and parcel. It is recommended that parents should monitor what their children exposed to because charity begins at home.
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, 1999).
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).
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
- To examine the influence of animated cartoon on children socio-cultural behaviours.
- To investigate the animated cartoon through cinema outshines other media in socializing children.
1.4 Research Questions
- Does animated cartoon influence children socio-cultural behaviours?
- To what extent has animated cartoon through cinema outshines other media in socializing 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.
Thus, 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 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.
“INFLUENCE OF ANIMATED CARTOONS ON THE BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN“