News: Specialized Press

TITLE: Television Exposure as a Risk factor for aggressive behavior among 3-Year-Old Children

Source: ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT MEDICINE. 2009; 163(11):1037-1045 / Date: November 4, 2009 / Category: Specialized Press

According to a research of the State University of New York and the University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine of New Orleans (United States) published in 'Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine'.

Scientists leaded by Jennifer A. Manganello and Catherine A. Taylor, analyzed data from 3,128 mothers of children born from 1998 to 2000 in 20 large U.S. cities to examine associations of child television exposure and household television use with aggressive behavior. Parents were interviewed at the time of the child's birth and at one and three years. At three years, they were asked to report time the child spent watching television directly as well as household television use on a typical day. Aggression also was assessed at 3 years of age using a 15-item aggressive subscale for 2- and 3-year-old children. Demographic information and other risk factors for aggression were also noted.

About 65% of mothers reported that their 3-year-old child watched more than two hours of television per day. On average, children were exposed to an additional 5.2 hours of household television use per day.

Direct child television exposure and household television use were both significantly associated with childhood aggression, after accounting for other factors such as parent, family, neighborhood and demographic characteristics.

Investigators say that one explanation that could be in the parenting environment. Households with higher rates of television use may have fewer restrictions on children's viewing habits such as exposure to unregulated television content. Increased household television use may also affect daily routines such as eating and communication patterns and may decrease time spent on other activities.

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