Watching excessive TV may lead to social isolation in kids : The Tribune India

Watching excessive TV may lead to social isolation in kids

TORONTO: Children who watch too much television are at risk of victimisation and social isolation, and adopting violent and antisocial behaviour towards other students at age 13, a new study has found.

Watching excessive TV may lead to social isolation in kids

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Toronto

Children who watch too much television are at risk of victimisation and social isolation, and adopting violent and antisocial behaviour towards other students at age 13, a new study has found.

"It is unclear to what extent excessive televiewing in early childhood can adversely affect social interactions," said Linda Pagani, professor at the University of Montreal in Canada.

"The detection of early modifiable factors that influence later child well-being is an important target for individual and community health," Pagani said.

"Establishing strong peer relationships, getting along well with others, and building a positive group social identity are essential elements in the successful transition to adolescence," she said.

"We undertook to examine the long-term affect of televiewing in toddlerhood on normal development based on four key indicators of social impairment in children aged 13," she added.

Pagani and her team examined the parent-reported televiewing habits of the children at age 2, as well as the self-reported social experiences of these children at age 13.

"Children who watched a lot of television growing up were more likely to prefer solitude, experience peer victimisation, and adopt aggressive and antisocial behaviour towards their peer at the end of the first year of middle school," she said.

"Transition to middle school is a crucial stage in adolescent development. We observed that excessive televiewing at age 13 tends to complicate the situation, posing additional risks of social impairment," she added.

Researchers came to their conclusion after examining data from a Quebec longitudinal cohort born in 1997/1998.

Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development is a set of public data coordinated by Quebec Statistical Institute in Canada.

Parents of the 991 girls and 1,006 boys from the study reported the number of hours their children spent watching television at the age of two and half years.

At 13 years, the same children rated their relational difficulties associated with victimisation, social isolation, intentional and planned aggression by peers, and antisocial behaviour.

Pagani's team then analysed the data to identify any significant link between such problems and early televiewing, discarding many possible confounding factors.

The study appears in the journal Psychological Medicine. — PTI

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