Children as Viewers
Children who view reality programs have been shown to suffer ill effects from the content of such programming. One Australian study revealed that children who watched reality programming were significantly more likely to associate wealth, popularity and beauty as factors that contribute to happiness. It's no surprise that these are values frequently held in high esteem by many participants of reality shows. What's more, certain other reality programs such as "Fear Factor" that feature participants involved in disgusting or dangerous behavior inspired attempts to duplicate these acts by some younger viewers. Children as Participants
Although not all reality programming involves underage participants, some do. These have also been shown to have a negative impact on the children involved. An environment in which kids find themselves surrounded by cameras much of the time has the tendency to make the challenges of growing up that much more difficult. Additionally, when competitive reality shows incorporate children, there is an added pressure and sense of rejection when things don't work out. The Canadian newspaper "The Globe and Mail" reported in 2009 on a program called "The Next Star," which focused on kids under 15, placing some contestants in embarrassing situations and leveling criticism (albeit constructive) at them on national television. The MTV Experience
Much of the programming offered on the MTV family of networks as of 2010 falls into the reality category. These shows are specifically geared toward younger viewers. Due to the target audience, kids are more likely to hear or see these shows referenced during interactions with their peers, increasing the likelihood that they'll watch. Inadvertently, these shows can present young viewers with role models. Given that kids are less capable of distinguishing decidedly undesirable behavior unless it's specifically placed in that context, the offerings from MTV have the potential to set a...
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