From Reuters: Childhood TV viewing can cause teenage problems.
Watching television more than two hours a day early in life can lead to attention problems later in adolescence, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The roughly 40 percent increase in attention problems among heavy TV viewers was observed in both boys and girls, and was independent of whether a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was made prior to adolescence.
The link was established by a long-term study of the habits and behaviors of more than 1,000 children born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between April 1972 and March 1973.
The children aged 5 to 11 watched an average of 2.05 hours of weekday television. From age 13 to 15, time spent in front of the tube rose to an average of 3.1 hours a day.
"Those who watched more than two hours, and particularly those who watched more than three hours, of television per day during childhood had above-average symptoms of attention problems in adolescence," Carl Landhuis of the University of Otago in Dunedin wrote in his report, published in the journal Pediatrics.
Young children who watched a lot of television were more likely to continue the habit as they got older, but even if they did not the damage was done, the report said.
"This suggests that the effects of childhood viewing on attention may be long lasting," Landhuis wrote.
Posted by Forkum at September 6, 2007 04:10 PM