The figure of 46 hours working a week provided in the headline is incorrect since the data from the survey, commissioned by centre parks, actually shows that 46 hours is the average weekly time spent by participants in activities. Not only is the headline therefore misleading for stating children are working ‘more than 46 hours’ but also for the term ‘work’. This is as the activities measured included not only school work and housework but also extracurricular activities and hobbies, which can arguably be seen as pleasurable free time rather than ‘work’. The headline is further misleading with its use of the subjective and emotive term ‘shattered’ which was not measured in the survey. Findings may support that children are spending high hours doing activities but do not support any level of tiredness.
The study was commissioned by Centre Parks and published by Parent Focus. This may therefore present a potential bias. It would be in the interest of Centre Parks, as an activity based family holiday resort which promotes itself through the ideal of quality family time, to present findings of overworked and tired children in need of a break.
The report was comprised of qualitative and quantitative measures. The quantitative survey was online and had a sample size of 2000. This is a reasonable sample size and the use of an online survey means the sample is less likely to be regional and therefore is more likely to be generalisable. The qualitative interview was carried out with 44 parents and their children. The sample comprised of participants of different class and ethnic backgrounds as well as geographical locations thus improving its representativeness. However in the interviews children of ages 6-11 were asked if they thought they worked harder than their parents which majority thought they did this was included in the report and article associated with this headline. Children are highly influenced by researcher effect, at this age it is unlikely they would understand how many hours their parents work given the studies use of ‘work’ as anything that it is not time off, this reduces the reliability of the evidence.