Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Childhood TV Viewing Can Lead to Antisocial Behavior

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Childhood TV Viewing Can Lead to Antisocial Behavior

Article excerpt

Children and adolescents who watch a lot of television are more likely to manifest antisocial and criminal behavior as adults, according to a University of Otago, New Zealand, study published online in the U.S. journal Pediatrics.

The study followed a group of around 1,000 children born in the New Zealand city of Dunedin in 1972-73. Every two years between the ages of 5 and 15, they were asked how much television they watched. Those who watched more television were more likely to have a criminal conviction and were also more likely to have antisocial personality traits in adulthood.

Study coauthor Bob Hancox of the university said he and colleagues found that the risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by about 30% with every hour that children spent watching TV on an average weeknight.

The study also found that watching more television in childhood was associated, in adulthood, with aggressive personality traits, an increased tendency to experience negative emotions, and an increased risk of antisocial personality disorder.

The researchers found that the relationship between TV viewing and antisocial behavior was not explained by socioeconomic status, aggressive or antisocial behavior in early childhood, or parenting factors. …

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