television and children

by Nick Duval-Smith

An extract from a book called ‘Too Much, Too Soon?’:

“A 26-year longitudinal study, tracking children from birth, has recently concluded that ‘television viewing in childhood and adolescence is associated with poor educational achievement by 26 years of age. Early exposure to television may have long-lasting adverse consequences for educational achievement and later socioeconomic status and well-being.’ The authors describe a dose–response relationship between the amount of television watched and declining educational performance, which has ‘biological plausibility’. Significant long- term effects occurred even at so-called modest levels of television viewing: between one and two hours per day. They also concluded that ‘the overall educational value of television viewing was low. … These findings offer little support for the hypothesis that a small amount of television is beneficial’ (Hancox et al., 2005).

Full text of chapter available here.