Study Shows Bedroom TV's Detrimental to Kids
by Jim Brown and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) ?A new study says bedroom televisions are harmful to children. The study, conducted by the Minneapolis-based National Institute on Media and the Family, found that children who have TVs in their bedrooms watch five-and-a-half hours more television per week. Dr. Douglas Gentile is director of research for the Institute as well as co-author of the study, which surveyed more than 500 parents nationwide.<
"Parents say they are less able to monitor what their kids are seeing and hearing. Parents are also less able to be consistent with rules for children's media use," Gentile says. "The children participate in fewer activities other than watching electronic media, and the children do worse in school. So there are a whole range of reasons why it seems that having TVs in the bedroom is not a good thing for kids."
Dr. David Walsh, the Institute's founder and director, says the study confirms what he has heard from teachers for years. Walsh says teachers have repeatedly confided to him that they can identify kids who have TVs in their bedrooms without even asking them.
Gentile says the number of children with televisions in their bedroom is continually growing. Twenty-six percent of 2-to-4-year-olds, 39% of 5-to-7-year olds, and 65% of children 8 and up have bedroom TVs.
The researcher says bedroom TVs for children are replacing exercise, reading, and interaction with other people. "What the research shows is that kids who watch more television ? play less well with friends, they are more likely to become obese, they do less well in school, and they are more likely to be aggressive and violent as adults," he says.
According to Gentile, the issue of bedroom TVs is one important decision all parents will likely face someday-a decision, he says, that has the potential for real, long-term consequences.