Monday, February 18 2013, 05:11 PM MST
Too Much TV Could Make Children Anti-Social, Aggressive
(CBS) Two new studies suggest that what kids see on TV when they’re young could have an impact well into adulthood.
It’s not just what they’re watching, but how long they’re watching it.
Television is a regular part of life at the Walsh house. Kerre and John say they have rules in place for watching, but with six children it isn't easy keeping them entertained. They say they have TVs in every room and in their cars.
But two new studies in the Journal Pediatrics say that TV could affect a child's behavior.
New Zealand researchers looked at about 1,000 children and found the more TV children watch, the more anti-social and aggressive they can become.
“It also means really more depression, more anxiety, more keeping to one’s self,” Dr. Suzanne Kaseta with Washingtonville Pediatrics said.
Pediatricians are concerned not just about how much time children spend in front of the TV but also what programs they are watching.
In the second study, U.S. researchers found pre-school aged children can imitate what they see on TV.
“A lot of children's programming, even though it is children's programming, still shows a lot of violence,” Dr. Kaseta said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests children older than two should watch less than two hours of TV a day, and that kids younger than two shouldn't watch any TV at all.
The Walsh's have trained their children so they know what not to watch. They also limit TV time during the week and make sure their children spend most of their time outside, staying active.
In addition to anti-social behavior, researchers found that kids who watch too much TV run a higher risk of criminal conviction later in life.