Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Frequent TV Viewing During Adolescence Linked With Risk Of Attention And Learning Difficulties

Date:
May 9, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Teenagers who watch television for three or more hours per day may have a higher risk of attention and learning difficulties in their adolescent and early adult years, according to new research.

Teenagers who watch television for three or more hours per day may have a higher risk of attention and learning difficulties in their adolescent and early adult years, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


Children and teens in industrialized nations spend an average of two or more hours per day watching television, with more than 90 percent of viewing time watching entertainment and general audience programming, according to background information in the article. Researchers hypothesize that watching entertainment programming might contribute to learning problems because it takes time that might otherwise be dedicated to reading and homework, requires little intellectual effort, promotes problems with attention and contributes to disinterest in school.

Jeffrey G. Johnson, Ph.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, and colleagues studied 678 families in upstate New York. Parents and children were interviewed about television habits and school problems three times between 1983 and 1993, when the children were an average of 14, 16 and 22 years old. Between 2001 and 2004, when the children in the study had reached an average age of 33, they provided information about their secondary and post-secondary education, including whether they graduated from high school or attended college.

At age 14, 225 (33.2 percent) of the teens reported that they watched three or more hours of television per day. "Television viewing time at mean age 14 years was associated with elevated risk for subsequent frequent attention difficulties, frequent failure to complete homework assignments, frequent boredom at school, failure to complete high school, poor grades, negative attitudes about school (i.e., hates school), overall academic failure in secondary school and failure to obtain post-secondary (e.g., college, university, training school) education," the authors write. "These associations remained significant after the covariates were controlled." These covariates included family characteristics and previous problems with thinking, learning and memory.

The researchers also conducted 14 analyses to investigate associations between attention and learning problems at age 14 and subsequent television habits. Only two of these analyses suggested any association, indicating that television watching contributes to learning difficulties and not vice versa. "The results suggest that although youths with attention or learning problems may spend more time watching television than do youths without these difficulties, this tendency may be unlikely to explain the preponderance of the association between television viewing and attention and learning difficulties during adolescence," they write.

Overall, the findings have important preventive implications, the authors continue. "They suggest that by encouraging youths to spend less than three hours per day watching television, parents, teachers and health care professionals may be able to help reduce the likelihood that at-risk adolescents will develop persistent attention and learning difficulties," they conclude. Future studies could investigate whether promoting other types of activities--such as athletics, music or arts-- also could help reduce the risk of learning problems during the teen years.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161:480-486. 

This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Frequent TV Viewing During Adolescence Linked With Risk Of Attention And Learning Difficulties." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070507183630.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, May 9). Frequent TV Viewing During Adolescence Linked With Risk Of Attention And Learning Difficulties. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070507183630.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Frequent TV Viewing During Adolescence Linked With Risk Of Attention And Learning Difficulties." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070507183630.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins