TV exposure may be linked to aggressive behaviour in kidsNovember 6th, 2009 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Nov 6 (IANS) Three-year-old children who are exposed to more TV appear to be at an increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behaviour, according to new research.
“Early childhood aggression can be problematic for parents, teachers and childhood peers and sometimes is predictive of more serious behaviour problems to come, such as juvenile delinquency, adulthood violence and criminal behaviour,” says a new study.
Various predictive factors for childhood aggression have been studied. These include parents’ discipline style, neighbourhood safety and media exposure. “After music, television is the medium children aged one to three years are exposed to the most.”
Jennifer A. Manganello from the University of Albany and colleagues analysed data from 3,128 mothers of children born between 1998 to 2000 in 20 large US cities. They examined associations between child television exposure and household television use with aggressive behaviour in children.
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 TV directly as well as household TV use on a typical day. Aggression also was assessed at three years of age using a 15-item aggressive sub-scale for two and three-year-old children. Demographic information and other risk factors for aggression were also noted.
About two-thirds (65 percent) of mothers reported that their three-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 TV use per day.
Direct child TV exposure and household TV use were both significantly associated with childhood aggression, after accounting for other factors such as parent, family, neighbourhood and demographic characteristics.
“One explanation that could link both child and household TV measures with aggression involves the parenting environment,” the authors write. Households with higher rates of TV 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.
The findings were published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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