New study: three or more hours of TV per day harms children’s development

From the UK Daily Mail.


Toddlers who watch three hours of TV a day may end up educationally stunted, physically weak and prone to bullying, a study has revealed.

Researchers have found that after two hours of viewing, every extra hour of TV has the potential to harm a child’s development, both physically and socially.

This includes poorer vocabulary, maths skills and attention in class, victimisation by classmates and poor physical prowess at nursery.

The study looked at 1,997 boys and girls aged 29 months whose parents reported their television viewing behaviour as part of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development.

The researchers found that if a child watched up to two hours and 52 minutes of TV, they were unlikely to suffer any negative effects.

[…]The study was published in the journal Paediatric Research.

I actually made the decision to give up TV about 8 years back and stick with my computer and a high speed connection instead. One of my reasons was to avoid handing money to the people who create TV programs, because those people do not agree with my values in the vast majority of cases. Why would I give them money to present their worldview to me, when I cannot get a hearing from them?

Life Site News explains the problem.


Ipsos MediaCT, a global market research company, have just released a study…

According to the report, 18 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 said that television has directly contributed to their increasing support for same-sex “marriage.”

That’s nearly double the number (10 percent) who reported television had increased their opposition to marriage redefinition.

“Based on this data, I think we can conclude that TV has, at least in part, moved the needle of public opinion to see same-sex marriage in a positive way,” Ben Spergel, Senior Vice President and Head of TV Insights at Ipsos MediaCT said in a statement.

“With everything from higher profile portrayals of gay characters, to celebrity support of gay marriage, to last year’s groundbreaking endorsement by President Obama, we are seeing a shift in our culture that is being influenced by popular culture,” he said.

Last month, liberal writer Andrew O’Hehir wrote an article for Salon crediting the American movement toward homosexual acceptance to television shows like “Will and Grace,””Roseanne,” “The Real World,” “Ellen DeGeneres,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Modern Family,” and “Glee.”

“From ‘Soap’ to Ellen DeGeneres to Richard Hatch on ‘Survivor’ to the macho male couple who won season 4 of ‘The Amazing Race,’” O’Hehir wrote, “televisual images of sexual diversity have gradually moved away from victimology and ‘gay best friend’ stereotypes toward a ‘normalizing vision’of LGBT culture.”

“While the startling public shift on gay marriage – something few people of my generation, straight or gay, thought they’d ever see — is not solely the product of TV, it represents the ultimate fulfillment of TV’s vision of sexual equality,” O’Hehir added.

Support for same-sex “marriage” is on the rise in the United States. Recent polls show more than half of Americans support redefining marriage to include homosexual couples, and several states now allow gay nuptials in defiance of federal law.

So that’s one reason. Why would I voluntarily give money to people who are working against what I believe?

Secondly, I particularly don’t like the “passive” feel of television. If I liked mysteries, I would rather solve one than watch one being solved. If I liked sports, I’d rather play sports or play a video game with a friend of sports, than watch millionaires play sports. If I liked military history, I’d rather play a military simulation than watch a documentary. I think that I learn a lot more by doing than by seeing.

8 thoughts on “New study: three or more hours of TV per day harms children’s development”

  1. On both points, correlation is not causation. Not that I think parking my children in front of the TV for 3 or more hours a day is beneficial (it could be depending on the programming/activity, but unlikely). I think the more likely link is that inattentive parents raise less developed children and inattentive parents are more likely to let or even encourage their children to watch more television. In other words, television is likely just a tool that can be used for good or bad, but is not the cause of stunted development.

    On the second point of influence, I do think that positive portrayals of gay people have had an influence on our society, but this study does not prove that. Perhaps a true study in which subjects are given opinion surveys before and after seeing positive portrayals of gay people or control programming (perhaps absent any portrayal of gay people) would be more definitive and useful.


    1. Correlation doesn’t preclude causation either. The actual saying is that correlation does not *imply* causation, which means one doesn’t *necessarily* cause the other. It may be said to be merely coincidence when the two do agree, but it doesn’t mean they can’t agree.


  2. My kid won’t be allowed to watch t.v. I stopped watching t.v. 3 years ago and I’m much happier and I have more time to read :)


  3. One good skill that children should know, especially Christian children, is how to analyze television or really any media content , in terms of purpose beyond entertainment. Everything is trying to send a message.


    1. Totally. This is something my dad did with us when we were very young — both with the programming itself and, more so, the commercials. Besides that, though, he was also of the mind of the less TV the better, and was particularly strict about us not watching Saturday morning TV/cartoons.


  4. Surprise revelation in this post, WK: You do play or are amenable to playing video games? Certainly some decent options out there on that front, and, as I guess you’d agree, also to be had in moderation. I just never would have pegged you as a (fellow) gamer.


    1. I do play computer games. Right now, I am playing the new Might and Magic X: Legacy through. I love playing retro dungeon crawler RPGs because that’s what I did when I was young (Wizardry, Might and Magic, Bard’s Tale). Computer games got me into computer programming, which led to a BS and MS in computer science.

      The other good games I like to play by myself are military simulations. I like realistic tactical squad-level turn-based games like Combat Mission (by Battlefront). I also like realistic naval-air combat simulations like Harpoon – Ultimate Edition and Naval War: Artic Circle.

      I also play less serious co-op games with people for fun like Portal 2 and Orcs Must Die 2. The only console I have is the Nintendo 3DS, and on that I play Etrian Odyssey games (*love*), as well as Fire Emblem and Bravely Default.


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