TV, video games cause attention-related problems

July 7th, 2010 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 7 (IANS) Viewing television and playing video games can lead to attention problems in youths.
A study led by Iowa State University psychologists found that children who exceeded the daily two hours of screen time, recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics, were 1.5-2 times more likely to have attention-related problems.

“There isn’t an exact number of hours when screen time contributes to attention problems, but the … recommendation of no more than two hours a day provides a good reference point,” said Edward Swing, the Iowa State psychology doctoral candidate who led the study.

“Most children are way above that. In our sample, children’s total average time with television and video games is 4.26 hours per day, which is actually low compared to the national average,” he said.

Collaborating with Swing on the research were Douglas Gentile, Craig Anderson and David Walsh, psychologists from Iowa State University.

The researchers evaluated 1,323 children in third, fourth and fifth grades over 13 months, using reports from the parents and children about their video game and TV habits besides teacher reports of attention problems.

Another group of 210 college students provided self-reports of TV habits, video game exposure and attention problems, a university release said. Their study is slated for publication in the August issue of Paediatrics.

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