S.M.A.R.T. (Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television)
This program is for children who are in 3rd and 4th grade.
The S.M.A.R.T. (Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television) program, a school-based program, is designed to reduce children's screen time in an effort to improve their health and health-related behaviors.
Results from ashowed that children participating in the program experienced improvements in body mass index (BMI), waist size, and body fatness in comparison to the . Children in the program, and their parents and siblings, reported less screen time each week compared to participants. Longer-term follow-up with more diverse samples are needed to fully evaluate the effectiveness of this program.
The S.M.A.R.T. program intends to reduce screen time (i.e., TV, videos/DVDs, and computer games) for participants. The curriculum lessons focus on the following goals:
- Increase children's awareness of the impact the amount of screen time can have on their lives and motivate them to reconsider the time they spend in front of a screen.
- Develop the skills necessary to reduce screen time and discover the benefits associated with that behavior by implementing a 10-day TV Turnoff. This is a period of abstinence from any non-school or work-related screen time.
- Build, utilize, and maintain skills needed to keep screen time under 7 hours per week.
For research studies conducted on the program, each household received an electronic TV time manager that locked onto the power plug of the TV set. The TV monitor device monitored viewing time for each household member through use of personal identification codes, which encouraged participants to mindfully select their screen time choices to remain within their weekly budget.
More than 1,000 children have participated in formal and informal research studies involving this program. The extent to which the program has been used outside of these research studies is unknown.
Training from the Stanford Health Promotion Resource Center is no longer available.
Considerations for implementing this program include acquiring buy-in from teachers, participants, and participants' families; finding time to implement the curriculum lessons and activities within an existing schedule; and devising a way to monitor screen time, if a monitor device is unavailable.
The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu
If you are interested in implementing S.M.A.R.T., the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu
The curriculum includes 18 30- to 50-minute lessons that are implemented over the course of 1 school year. The television turnoff lasts for 10 consecutive days.
The curriculum, teachers manual, and CD-Rom can be purchased together for $199. Discounts are available when more than 10 are purchased.
To move the S.M.A.R.T. program to the Promising category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence, at least one evaluation should be performed demonstrating positive effects lasting at least six months from program completion.
The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu
*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.