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Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:24

Watching TV for more than 3 hours can make your Five year-old Anti Social..

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Five year-olds who watch TV for three or more hours a day are increasingly likely to develop antisocial behaviours, such as fighting or stealing by the age of seven, indicates research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood, reports medicalxpress.

But the risk is very small, say the authors, who additionally found that time spent playing computer/electronic games had no impact on behaviour. Prolonged screen viewing time has been linked to various behavioural and emotional problems in children, say the authors, but most research has focused exclusively on television, and almost all of it has been carried out in the US.

They wanted to explore what psychological and social impact time spent watching TV and playing electronic games might have on children between the ages of five and seven. They included a representative sample of just over 11,000 children, all of whom were part of the Millennium Cohort Study, which has been tracking the long term health and development of UK children born between 2000 and 2002.

After taking account of influential factors, including parenting and family dynamics, watching TV for three or more hours a day was significantly associated with a very small increased risk of antisocial behaviour (conduct problems) between the ages of five and seven, the researchers conclude that  the links between heavy screen time and mental health may be indirect, rather than direct, such as increased sedentary behaviour, sleeping difficulties, and impaired language development, and that the child's own temperament may predict screen time habits.

 But they conclude that their study "suggests that a cautionary approach to the heavy use of screen entertainment in young children is justifiable in terms of potential effects on wellbeing, particularly conduct problems, in addition to effects on physical health and academic progress shown elsewhere."

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Read 2414 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:31

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