Thesis Title

The Implications of TV and Screen Time on the Cognitive Development of Children and the Benefits of Partaking in Art Activities

Graduation Date

Spring 2013

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


John Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Ellen McCabe-Wackewitz, MFT, ATR-BC


Over the years children have adapted to entertainment through mediums such as the radio, internet, and television. Parents have accustomed to letting those media be a distraction to the children as a way to keep the children inside and safe. Being outdoors has occasionally proven to be dangerous to children in the United States. Children are being affected by the idea that staying inside means more TV time. By teaching the parents to decrease the time a child watches TV, then the child will increase their cognitive and physical development by using art as an alternative. Four children and their parents participated in this study to explore how children might be engaged in creative art activities in the home and the impact of these activities has on their television viewing habits. It was found that there was a positive correlation between the improvement in test scores and the enjoyment of the art or being without any technology for one hour each day.