This paper aims to examine how parental mediation of children's television viewing varies among urban and rural children in China.
A survey of 1,056 children ages 6 to 14 in nine Chinese provinces was conducted. Independent sample t‐tests were performed to make rural‐urban comparisons. Correlation analyses were provided on the relationships between parental mediation styles and children's television usage, and between parental mediation styles and children's purchase request.
The paper finds that urban parents engage in more instructive mediation and restrictive mediation than rural parents. Urban parents use restrictive mediation the more often, while rural parents use co‐viewing the more frequently. Only urban children's television viewing has a significantly positive relationship with co‐viewing with their parents. In general, children's purchase request is positively related to parental mediation styles in rural and urban China (except for restrictive mediation in rural areas).
The study is based on an analysis of secondary data. Future studies should adopt established scales of parental mediation styles for the Chinese context.
The findings should help public policy makers understand the dynamic parents‐children interactions with television, and help marketers find effective and efficient ways to reach young Chinese consumers.
The study represents a preliminary effort to examine the antecedents of television parental mediation, its occurrence, and its potential effects in the Chinese context.
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