Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Refining TV-Watching

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Refining TV-Watching

Article excerpt

Few debates are longer running than whether excessive television viewing by children causes violent behavior. The debate was recharged recently with a Columbia University study that found a statistical connection between hours spent in front of the TV and later criminal acts.

Since the study stretched over 17 years, it involved not only children, but adolescents and young adults. The adults, when exposed to more than an hour of TV a day, showed the same increased inclination toward violence that other researchers have often found in younger, supposedly more impressionable subjects.

So, does this latest study seal the case against TV violence?

Not really. It may be yet another reason for thinking hard about viewing habits, of adults as well as children. Without a doubt, what's learned on TV can feed into thinking and acting. But some questions remain unanswered.

If TV really breeds violence, why aren't more people violent? Or rather, what helps most people not resort to violence after years of TV-watching? …

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