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The negative effects of television on children, according to science

The negative effects of television on children, according to science

June 20, 2024

Psychologists and educators have been warning parents for decades about the harmful effects of television on children in the home. Therefore, many researchers they have invested their time in verifying what is true in this hypothesis .

Is it true that television harms the development of children? And if so, how does television affect their development?

More television, more problems at school

Television used appropriately and with certain limits can be positive, but we must not forget that it is a socializing agent and, therefore, transmits values . Therefore, it is necessary that there is control over what children watch.


It is common for many parents, to have a moment to breathe, feel their children in front of the small screen. You have to be careful when doing this, because a study in which it was published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, and in which the Sainte Justine University of Quebec and the University of Michigan participated, demonstrated that the children who spent 2, 3 and 4 years of age spent more hours in front of the television had bigger problems at school and had adopted more harmful habits at the age of 10 years.

According to this study, an excess of exposure to television during childhood caused a 7% decrease in commitment to school, a decrease of 6% percent achievement in mathematics, a 10% increase in victimization by peers. class, a 13% decrease in time spent on physical activity on weekends, a 9% increase in soft drink consumption, and a 10% increase in the consumption of unhealthy "snacks".


Childhood is an essential stage in the development of the brain

The authors of the study emphasize that childhood is an essential stage for the development of the brain. During this period, the brain and its neuronal circuits undergo an intense process of selective stabilization of the synapses. The best way to create these connections is through the game. In other words, children develop their intellect Experimenting with the physical world .

Exposure to television can make us more anxious and violent

Television has had a huge impact on our culture. For this reason, Michel Desmurget, doctor in neuroscience and director of research in the INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) carried out an investigation to know the impact of the "tele" in our life.

His study concluded that the exposure of television seems to make us more competitive, anxious and aggressive individuals . On the other hand, this research also stated that an excess of television during childhood is related to the appearance of attention disorders in the early stages of growth, and, as mentioned, can cause anxiety and delinquency also during adolescence.


The relationship between problems for health and the use of television

But there is still more, because children between 2 and 10 years of age who spend more than two hours a day in front of the TV 30% more likely to suffer high blood pressure . It seems that the cause lies in the relationship between a sedentary lifestyle and the frequent use of television.

On the other hand, television seems to exert a strong influence on the culture of the image. A study conducted in the Republic of the Fiji Islands concluded that 69% of adolescents began to control their weight after continuous exposure to the media . We see then that television also modulates the beliefs of minors.

The recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

As we can see, several scientific studies have shown the negative effects of the use of television: aggressive behavior, anxiety, academic performance, negative perception of the image itself, etc. Nevertheless, an appropriate use of television can be positive . Therefore, for the small screen does not become a negative aspect of the development of children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers several tips for parents:

  • Remove TVs from children's rooms.
  • Only allow the use of television and other audiovisual media one to two hours a day at most. The content must be of quality and, therefore, should control what children and adolescents are seeing. Choose informative and educational content programs.
  • Children under two should not watch television.Instead, parents should encourage them to practice activities that stimulate brain development: talking, playing, reading, etc.
  • If possible. watch television with children and take advantage of programs to initiate debates about family values, violence, sex, drugs, etc.
  • Use videos and DVDs to record educational programs.
  • Support educational programs in the school about the media.
  • Encourage children to develop other activities such as reading, sports or hobbies.

How young is too young to watch television? (June 2024).


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