Navigation Links
Switching Kids Away From Violent TV May Lower Aggression
Date:2/18/2013

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies, one from the United States and the other from New Zealand, add more fuel to the long-standing claim that exposure to television -- especially violent TV -- can harm children.

The studies aren't definitive, however, and each offers a different view of TV's impact on kids.

The New Zealand study, for example, looked at a group of children who grew up to have a high rate of criminal convictions and found those who watched the most TV had the most problems.

In the American study, however, preschool children randomly assigned to watch educational and "pro-social" shows appeared later to be better behaved than kids who watched regular programming.

"It's not just the bad behaviors that they get from TV. They can get good behaviors, too," said the U.S. study's lead author, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute.

For a variety of reasons, researchers have had a hard time figuring out whether TV is actually harmful to kids. If children watch a lot of violent TV and then misbehave or become violent, it could be because they're naturally drawn to that kind of programming and not directly influenced by it, experts say. Or something else, such as parenting or genetics, could explain things.

The New Zealand study tracked 1,037 children into adulthood (age 26) to see what happened to them. They were born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island.

The investigators found that those who watched the most TV when they were between the ages of 5 and 15 grew up more likely to have a criminal conviction or have an antisocial personality disorder. The study doesn't definitively prove that watching TV caused criminal activity or aggression, but the researchers found that other factors (including poverty levels and IQ) didn't play a role.

"The findings support a lot of other research that indicates that watching a lot of television in childhood can lead to antisocial behavioral problems later in life," said study co-author Dr. Bob Hancox, an associate professor in the department of preventive and social medicine at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

The study is unusual because 27 percent of the males had a criminal conviction by age 26, and a remarkable 19 percent of them were convicted of a violent crime. Hancox, however, said the researchers don't think these numbers are especially high.

The study authors don't know if the television that the children watched was especially violent; the country only had two channels at the time, and many shows were from overseas, Hancox said. "We cannot say from our study whether it is the violent content or just watching TV that is most important," he added.

In the U.S. study, the Seattle researchers analyzed what happened to 565 kids aged 3 to 5 who were randomly assigned to watch either regular programs on TV or educational and "pro-social" programming. In essence, the idea was to substitute shows like "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for "Power Rangers," Christakis said.

After six months, those who watched the educational programming scored better on a test of "social competence and behavior" that was given to their parents.

It's not clear what the score difference made for the children in real life. However, the tests aimed to examine things such as whether kids are cooperative, non-aggressive and non-argumentative.

Christakis noted that these traits aren't signs of docile children. "I view them as desirable," he said.

The big message is that the kind of television that kids watch matters, he added.

"All television is educational. It's just a matter of what it's teaching," Christakis said.

In an editorial accompanying the studies, which are scheduled for publication in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics, Dr. Claire McCarthy of Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, echoed that thought.

Reiterating the American Academy of Pediatrics' long-standing recommendation of limiting kids' TV time to no more than two hours a day, she said, "It is time to change our approach."

McCarthy explained that "We need to switch our emphasis to outcomes and not screen time, because it is outcomes that matter. . . . It is a variation on the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' idea. If the screens are going to be on, let's concentrate on the content, and how we can make it work for children."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about television watching.

SOURCES: Dimitri Christakis, M.D., M.P.H., director, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children's Research Institute, and professor, pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; Bob Hancox, M.D., associate professor, department of preventive and social medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand; March 2013 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Zane Benefits Publishes Information About Large Companies Switching to Defined Contribution & Private Exchanges for Employee Health Benefits
2. State of Alaska Bans Canned Air, Switching to Safer and Sustainable 02 Hurricane Canless Air System
3. Are women with a history of violent experiences more likely to have risky sex?
4. Violent TV Shows Keep Young Kids Awake: Study
5. Strong female portrayals eliminate negative effects of violent media
6. More Evidence That Violent Video Games Help Spur Aggression
7. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
8. Tree nut consumption associated with lower body weight and lower prevalence of health risks
9. Diagnostic yield of colonoscopy for melena after nondiagnostic upper endoscopy is lower than previously reported
10. Everyday Activities Might Lower Alzheimers Risk
11. Modest alcohol consumption lowers risk and severity of liver disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Switching Kids Away From Violent TV May Lower Aggression
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their writing ... which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating him ... Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, Genome ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today ... cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two ... the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: