February 18th, 2013
03:56 PM ET

TV may improve behavior in kids

For years, pediatricians have recommended that young children watch no TV, or as little as possible, because it can lead to problems in school and behavior issues.  Now a new study concedes children are sitting in front of the TV a lot longer.  However, controlling what they watch can improve how they behave.

When preschoolers watch educational programs instead of violent TV shows, they tend to be more compassionate and less aggressive, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The study

About 600 families were recruited and assigned to one of two groups. Parents in the first group were encouraged to substitute violent shows with educational and pro-social ones - shows that stressed compassion and cooperation.

Families were given monthly TV guides listing educational programming for their area: shows such as "Dora the Explorer," "Super WHY," "Sesame Street" and "It's a Big, Big World." Parents were also encouraged to watch TV with their kids.

The children went from watching a half-hour of violent programming a day to 23 minutes. Parents then increased educational viewing from about 30 to 43 minutes a day.

Families in the second group did not change their viewing habits.

"This is the first study to try to modify the viewing habits of preschool kids," says Dr. Vic Strasburger, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. "That's one of the significances of this study."

The results

After a year, researchers found that children watching less violent and more child-appropriate shows scored better on tests that measured cooperation, a willingness to share or compromise. They also had fewer incidents of aggressive behavior such as yelling and hitting.

"Although television is frequently implicated as a cause of many problems in children, our research indicates that it may also be part of the solution," the study notes.

The scientists saw the greatest improvements in boys raised in disadvantaged homes where children tends to watch more TV.

Experts know that children mimic what they see, whether it's in real life or what's on the screen. And this is of particular concern when children watch TV or movies riddled with violence.

"Children learn their attitudes about violence at a very young age, before age 8 and once they learn those attitudes it's very difficult to unlearn them," says Strasburger.

"It doesn't mean that children who watch violence are going to become murderers, but it does mean that they are desensitized to violence in the real world and they are more likely to be aggressive themselves," says study author Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute.

Better shows, better kids

But on the flip side, when children watch shows with positive social messages, it helps them get along better with others and gives them the tools to become better communicators, the study suggests.

"They will imitate the good things too," says Christakis. "We should take more advantage of the fact that you can demonstrate good behaviors on-screen and that children will emulate them in real life."

Right now, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preschoolers and older children get only one to two  hours of TV or screen time a day.  But in reality, they're really watching much more.  According to this study, preschoolers see an average of about four and a half hours daily at home and in daycare settings.  Parents struggle with guilt, researchers say, because they allow so much TV time.

"Parents need to get this message that it's not just about how much TV your children watch, it's about what they watch," says Christakis. "It's not just about turning off the set; it's about changing the channel."

soundoff (610 Responses)
  1. 구리출장마사지

    I think this is one of the such a lot significant info for me.
    And i'm satisfied studying your article. But should observation on few
    general things, The web site taste is ideal, the articles is truly
    nice : D. Excellent process, cheers

    June 7, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Leanna Mcatee

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 7, 2021 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Wheelchair Van Repair

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Cheers! Where are your contact details though?


    June 7, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. videos stores near me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, however I truly thought you'd have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 8, 2021 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. horse trailer awning installation


    June 8, 2021 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Tires Near Me


    June 8, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv interior remodeling companies


    June 8, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. สล็อต

    I was able to find good info from your articles.

    June 9, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Elma Witfield

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 9, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. SEO Marketing Experts


    June 9, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Troy Narro

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 9, 2021 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Carolyn Kalahiki

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate infoÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!

    June 9, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Shauna Kirkwood

    There is certainly a lot to know about this issue. I like all the points you made.

    June 9, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Edwardo Giron

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always interesting to read content from other writers and use something from other websites.


    June 9, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tad Kirst

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to come back yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 10, 2021 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Velva Behymer


    June 10, 2021 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv repair shop

    You've made some really good points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 10, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Wilbert Bernardez

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this information.


    June 10, 2021 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Vicky Brosnan

    I needed to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 10, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv repair shops

    You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 10, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Lloyd Lhommedieu

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?


    June 10, 2021 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Erick Perrington

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉

    June 10, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Danilo Brachman


    June 10, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tandy Midura

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    June 10, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rv repair shops near me

    Hello! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for your great info you have got right here on this post. I'll be returning to your web site for more soon.


    June 11, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Signe Antista


    June 11, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Cleo Gassner

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 11, 2021 at 05:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Toshia Leyh


    June 11, 2021 at 05:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jarvis Rothermich

    Very nice post. I definitely love this site. Thanks!


    June 11, 2021 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rv repair shops near me

    I used to be able to find good information from your articles.


    June 11, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. box truck body repair


    June 11, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Rv Alignment

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 12, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Shower Los Angeles


    June 12, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Authorized Mercedes Benz Service Centers Near Me


    June 12, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. paint shops around me


    June 12, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rest area near me


    June 12, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. printing services near me

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Many thanks! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 12, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. walmart near me now


    June 12, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. aldis near me

    I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new things you postÖ


    June 13, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. haircut near me

    Right here is the perfect webpage for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that's been written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    June 13, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 99 cent store near me

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím definitely delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    June 13, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. physical therapy near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 13, 2021 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv sales near me

    Can I simply just say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what they're talking about over the internet. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people have to check this out and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you definitely have the gift.


    June 13, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. gynecologist near me

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 13, 2021 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. kitchen supplies near me

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely thought you'd have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 13, 2021 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. massage near me


    June 13, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Casey Melero

    I don't know about you all but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2008/11/video-random-funny-airline-related-video/


    June 13, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. longhorn steakhouse near me

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Kudos!


    June 13, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. furniture store near me


    June 13, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 24 hour pharmacy near me

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. Your article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 13, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to slot online maha168


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.