Mental Health

Heavy Doses of Television Linked to Antisocial Behavior in Children

Studies conducted independently in New Zealand and the United Kingdom suggest a link between excessive television viewing by children and antisocial behavior.  At the University of Otago in New Zealand, researchers found that the risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by about 30% with every hour that children spent watching television on an average weeknight.

The UK study, reported in Science Daily, found that five year olds who watched more than three hours of television daily are increasingly likely to exhibit antisocial behavior, such as fighting or stealing by the age of seven. Millennium Cohort Study researchers, tracking UK children born between 2000 and 2002, found that risk to be very small. The same researchers found no link between time spent playing computer/ electronic games and child behavior. Prolonged viewing time has been linked to various behavioral and emotional problems in children, but most research to date has focused exclusively on television, and almost all of it has been carried out in the U.S. 

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