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Watching Violent TV at Pre-School Age Linked to Aggression in Young Boys
Date:11/5/2007

TV-Related Anti-Social Behaviors Found in Boys, Not Girls

SEATTLE, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Watching violent television programs between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age is clearly linked to aggressive and anti-social behaviors in boys when they reach age 7 to 9, according to a new study published in the November 2007 issue of Pediatrics. Investigators Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, and Frederick Zimmerman, PhD, both of Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute and the University of Washington School of Medicine, add these findings to their growing body of research on the effects of television and media on children and their ability to learn, socialize and develop.

The journal article titled "Violent Television Viewing During Preschool is Associated with Anti-social Behavior During School Age" reviews data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which is a 40-year study of 8,000 U.S. families. The project looked at the types of programming watched by 184 boys and 146 girls between ages 2 and 5, and anti-social behaviors between ages 7 and 10. A clear link was found between pre-school age boys who watched violent programs and their later development of anti-social and aggressive behaviors at ages 7 to 9. There was no such correlation found for girls.

"This new study provides further evidence of how important and powerful television and media are as young children develop," said Christakis. "However, the news here is not all bad. While we found that shows like violent cartoons or football can make children more aggressive, we found no such effect for other programs such as educational ones. This points out that parents must be informed and very selective when making media choices for their children."

"These findings are a bit unnerving because we know from other studies that the behaviors children manifest in early childhood track into adolescence and even into adulthood," said Christakis. "As children grow older they
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SOURCE Seattle Children?s Hospital Research Institute
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