TV Watching at Age 2 Spells Trouble Later
Study Finds Early TV Exposure Linked to Problems at Age 10
WebMD News Archive
Television Viewing and Kids: Effects continued...
The children exposed to too much TV were also likely to be victimized, she
found, explaining that social relationships take practice and effort. "Kids who
do too much media, studies have shown this, tend to be socially isolated."
Not having social skills, she says, may make the kids targets for being
teased and insulted by classmates.
Each additional hour of TV viewing at age 29 months (over the average for
each child) was linked to a range of effects, Pagani found, including:
- 7% decrease in classroom engagement
- 6% decrease in math achievement
- 10% increase in being victimized by peers
- 13% decrease in physical activity on weekends
- 9% higher intake of soft drinks
- 5% increase in probability of being overweight as calculated by BMI
Television Viewing and Kids: Other Opinions
The new findings are no surprise to Ed Christophersen, PhD, a clinical child
psychologist at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., who
reviewed the study results for WebMD.
The new research, he says, documents what he and his colleagues have
believed about the link between too much TV and developmental and other
''This study pulls together multiple measures that many of us thought were
affected by early TV, but now we know they are," Christophersen tells WebMD. He
reminds parents that TV time limits should also include "screen" time from
computers and other media.
Most parents are aware of the hazards of too much screen time, says Rahil
Briggs, PsyD, director of the Healthy Steps at Montefiore Medical Center and
assistant professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New
York, who also reviewed the findings.
Parents rely on TV for a break, she finds. "I think it's because parents are
overworked, exhausted, and really highly stressed.”
Although that's fine for occasional ''breathing room," she suggests parents
think of other ways to relax without leaning on TV.
"Take your child to the park," she suggests, so he can learn to interact and
you can still relax a bit.
"If you have to plop down in front of the TV, have a conversation with your
kid about what you are watching," she says. "Make it an interactive