Childhood TV addicts more likely to commit crime: study


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Childhood TV addicts more likely to commit crime: study

Children who watch excessive amounts of television are more likely to have criminal convictions and show aggressive personality traits as adults, a New Zealand study has found.

The University of Otago study tracked the viewing habits of about 1,000 children born in the early 1970s from when they were aged five to 15, then followed up when the subjects were 26 years old to assess potential impacts.

The research, published in the US journal "Pediatrics" this week, found a strong correlation between childhood exposure to television and anti-social behaviour in young adults.

"The risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by about 30 per cent with every hour that children spent watching television on an average weeknight," co-author Bob Hancox said.

The study also found excessive TV viewing was linked to aggressive personality traits and an increased tendency to experience negative emotions.

It said the links remained statistically significant even when issues such as intelligence, social status and parental control were factored in.
"While we're not saying that television causes all anti-social behaviour, our findings do suggest that reducing television viewing could go some way towards reducing rates of anti-social behaviour in society," Hancox said.

He said the findings supported the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation that children should watch no more than one to two hours of quality television programming a day.

The study said it was possible that children learned anti-social behaviour by watching it on TV, leading to emotional desensitisation and the development of aggressive behaviour.

But it said the content of what children were viewing was not the only factor, highlighting the social isolation experienced by those who spent hours watching the box.

"It is plausible that excessive television viewing contributes to anti-social behaviour in ways unrelated to violent content," it said.

"These mechanisms could include reduced social interaction with peers and parents, poorer educational achievement, and increased risk of unemployment."

Hancox said the study concentrated on children's viewing habits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before the advent of personal computers, and further research was warranted into how such technology affected subsequent behaviour.

"If you're playing a computer game that not only exposes you to a lot of violence but actually simulates shooting people then that may be even worse, but I don't have any data on that," he told Radio New Zealand.


Ruler's of Penmai
Registered User
Jul 26, 2012
Dear Devika, I understand your problem. This problem of getting addicted to TV by our children is the most common one.It is extremely hard to get rid of TV addiction. Watching TV is a national pastime in many countries. It is hard to throw away the TV and declare yourself cured of TV addiction.

However, there are certain things you can do to control TV addiction.

It may seem painful to change the habit of our children, since we parents ourselves are always switch on the TV once we step into the house when both the parents are working. The other-way around is still worse if any one of parents is not working and staying at house means the TV will be always kept on.

However, you will agree that controlling TV addiction brings joy and peace into our household.

How do you control TV addiction?

1. Set goal

You can set a weekly goal or a daily goal.

If you set a goal of watching just ten hours of TV a week, you need to find things to occupy the rest of your childre's time. You cannot realistically do nothing.

2. Decide on what to watch

You can scan through the TV guide and decide on what you want to watch.

Put it into the schedule, and try to schedule some other interesting activities to your children before and after the TV show. If you need to make your children to finish of their homework or playing or go for outing or shopping after the show, they are less tempted to keep watching TV. When you introduce a interesting thing to their mind they will get attracted towards that and they will skip TV watching. But you must be creative enough in this regard. TV addiction requires planning and conscious effort to subdue.

3. Limit news

You can limit the hours spend on watching news.

There is no need to know how many people have died in the recent accidents, car crashes or earthquakes. You cannot do anything about it except to donate some money.

You can scan the news headline in the Internet, so that you do not miss out important news either.

4. Help your husband to get rid of TV addiction

It is relatively easy to get rid of TV addiction as a family. All of you can encourage each other to kick off the TV addiction.

You can bring your kids to the park, to the zoo, to the playground and shopping mall, so that they do not have time to keep watching TV. You can divert your husband's attention by requesting him to help you in daily chores in the kitchen.

It is hard to control TV addiction in the first month. Once you get used to the new routine, you will find that TV addiction does not such power in your life anymore.


Friends's of Penmai
Dec 6, 2012
Dubai, UAE
There are a lot of ways to treat every addiction that a person has. It's all how we handle it,. The best way to deal is positive reinforcement. An example is behavioral disorder. Wilderness therapy is a natural way of eleminating behavioral disorders. Let them play outdoors or join some classes. It'll help to keep them focussed and give them a break, Tv just lulls the brain to sleep mode. Its better to encourage kids and teenagers to choose other hobbies rather than sitting in front of it.

TV is simply one more activity to choose from during the day. If this is the case, there is no need to impose any restrictions as your child will view intelligently, occasionally, and gain a great deal from what he sees. An hour of TV a day would be okay but more than that is not good and is not required either put the child in sports or arts. Have a variety of other activities on offer like outings, plenty of books, construction toys and friends over to play. Make sure you offer plenty of interesting activities which use up his energy, as well as lots of nutritious food. Gradually his imagination and creativity should return and he will want stories, art and craft activities, and time to play with friends.

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