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Children Who Watch Too Much TV Have Problems Paying Attention

A New Zealand longitudinal study of 1000 children found that watching more television than average was linked to inability to pay attention.

Dr. Robert Hancox and his colleagues at the University of Otago had parents and older children keep track of how much television a child watched at ages three, five, eleven, thirteen and fifteen. The average amount was two hours per day for younger children, and three hours for teenagers. Children who watched more than those amounts tended to have problems focusing and paying attention.

Dr. Hancox and others theorize that television watching may influence brain development. Another explanation might be that the fast pace of television shows makes reality boring for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than two hours per day, and that children under age two years watch no television at all.

This study appears in the September 2007 issue of Pediatrics magazine.

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Labels: attention, tv_watching, development

Posted By: Aspen Education Group