Too Much TV May Make Your Kid A Jerk

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tv and kidsI watched a lot of television as a kid and I’m happy to say that it didn’t lead me down a path of giving wedgies and stealing lunch money. It looks like I may have been one of the lucky ones. A new study by the University at Glasgow reveals that in addition to being bad for a child’s health watching too much television may cause children to become bullies.

The study looked at 11,000 children in the United Kingdom aged five to seven and found that children who watched three or more hours of television a day showed a slight increase in anti-social behavior.The mother’s rated their children’s behavior at age five and then again at age seven. Researchers used that information along with how much television the child watched to come to their conclusion.

There was a small but significant .13-point increase in “conduct problems” — antisocial behaviors like fighting, bullying, lying, cheating, and stealing — at age seven for kids who watched three or more hours of TV per day at age five.

Suprisingly they didn’t see the same results when it came to the amount of time children spend playing video games. Within the study, excessivevideo game playing didn’t have the same negative effect on children’s behavior as TV watching did.

Maybe their next study should be on why parents would let their 5-year-old watch three or more hours of TV a day. When you think about it, if the child is in school that’s basically them coming home and doing nothing but watch television, eat dinner and go to sleep. Even in my TV watching heyday I went outside and played before sitting in front of the TV for an hour or so before dinner.  Maybe they’re being bullies and acting out because they aren’t getting any attention at home and being babysat by Nickelodeon.

(photo: greenland / Shutterstock)