Can too much TV turn your kid into a “problem child?” Show Notes

Monday, April 01, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Can too much TV turn your kid into a real problem child?

Another study has come out on kids and TV, and it should provide a wake up call for parents. 

Ryan Jaslow at CBSNews.com reports that British researchers found that young children who watched television longer than three hours per day were more likely to develop antisocial behaviors such as fighting, stealing or bullying.

Study author Dr. Alison Parkes, points out that the impact found by the researchers wasn’t huge. But she says "It could be the tip of the iceberg and if we knew what they were watching, we might find more of an effect."

Here’s how the study was set up. Mothers were given questionnaires when their kids were 5 and then again at age 7. They measured conduct problems, emotional symptoms, poor attention span and hyperactivity, difficulties making friends, and the amount of empathy or concern the kids had for others.

They were also asked how often their child watched television or played computer and video games.

The researchers found that almost two-thirds of the children watched TV for one to three hours a day, with 15 percent watching more than three hours a day. 

After ruling out other factors like family characteristics, the researchers discovered that watching more than three hours of TV per day was associated with a small but significant increase in risk for antisocial behavior and conduct problems.

They point out that more work is needed to show a direct cause and effect link between TV and behavioral problems.

By the way, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teen spend no more of two hours per day watching television, and the content of those shows should be “high quality.”

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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