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Background TV Found Damaging to Kids

At least they didn't say 'Background TV is damaging your kids. Turn them around so they can see it properly'.

American children exposed to high amounts of harmful background TV

Children from the age of 8 months to 8 years are exposed to nearly 4 hours of background TV per day, according to new research. Authors Matthew Lapierre, of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, Jessica Piotrowski, Universiteit van Amsterdam, and Deborah Linebarger, University of Iowa, are the first to provide accurate estimates of background TV exposure to children.

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The study surveyed 1,454 English-speaking households with children between the ages of 8 months to 8-years-old. Younger children and African-American children were exposed to higher amounts of background TV. Models were included to explore whether demographic variables including child gender, ethnicity, race, age, and/or family income are associated with different levels of background TV.

Previous research has shown that children with high exposure to background TV have been linked to poor performance in cognitive and reading tasks.

"Considering the accumulating evidence regarding the impact that background television exposure has on young children, we were rather floored about the sheer scale of children's exposure with just under 4 hours of exposure each day," Lapierre said. "Fortunately, our study does offer specific solutions to reduce exposure in American homes, namely- removing televisions from children's bedrooms and remembering to shut the television off."

Source: International Communication Association


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