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.

Read the full article at Science Daily

Church-going teens go further with school

For many American teens, the road to college goes through the chapel.

Sociologists from Brigham Young University and Rice University found religiously-affiliated youth are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college.

The researchers note that teens’ fellow church-goers are an important factor, serving as mentors who help teens set their sights high.

"Youth have a unique chance to form relationships with peers and mentors outside of their classroom at school or their neighborhood at home," said Lance Erickson, the lead study author and a sociologist at BYU. "Mentors especially care for, counsel with and encourage youth throughout their growing years in a way that teachers and parents might not be able to."

Read the full article at BYU News