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Study: Too Much TV Linked To Risk of Antisocial Behavior

Mar 28th, 2013

TV Linked To Risk of Anitsocial Behavior

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“Warning: May cause antisocial behavior.” Is too much tv linked to risk of anitsocial behavior ? We might not see this label on our TV sets any time soon, but a recent study suggests that watching the tube may have a negative effect on children’s behavior.

The study, published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood on March 25, also found that playing computer or electronic games had no effect on children’s behavior.

For the study, researchers analyzed data gathered from more than 11,000 children in the United Kingdom who were born between 2000 and 2002. The team surveyed the participants’ TV viewing and computer gaming habits at age five. The children’s mother were asked to assess how well adjusted their children were when they were five years old and again when they were seven.

The survey found that at age five, nearly two-thirds of the children watched TV for one to three hours a day; 15 percent watched TV for more than three hours a day; and less than 2 percent did not watch any TV at all. Only 3 percent of the children played computer games for three or more hours a day when they were 5 years old.

After taking several factors into account, researchers found that too much TV linked to risk of antisocial behavior .  By watching TV for three or more hours a day they found an increased risk of antisocial behavior by age 7. However, TV viewing was not associated with emotional or attention problems, the authors said.

“The study suggests that a cautionary approach to the heavy use of screen entertainment in young children is justifiable in terms of potential effects on mental well being, particularly conduct problems, in addition to effects on physical health and academic progress shown elsewhere,” the authors concluded.

Although the study found an association between increased TV watching at age 5 and a small increased risk of antisocial behavior at age 7, it failed to establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

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