TV viewing may not increase chances of ADHD
Mar 8, 2006 - 4:37:37 AM

Children who watch television are no more likely to develop attention disorders, say scientists rejecting earlier studies that linked kids' television exposure to such problems.

Earlier studies found that children who watch TV more often could face several health problems such as loss of sleep, poor academic performances and symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a mental condition.

In the latest study, Texas Tech University scientists failed to find a connection between ADHD and TV viewing habits, reported the health portal HealthCentral.

Tara Stevens and other researchers randomly selected two samples of 2,500 children. The study includes 22,000 youngsters who started kindergarten during the 1998-1999 school year.

They found no association between television exposure and symptoms of ADHD. They also found that parental involvement -- such as the amount of time parents spent in children's activities that didn't involve TV -- didn't have a link to ADHD symptoms.

"TV is designed to capture our attention and move us quickly from one subject to the next. The question is, does the young brain become different because of this?" asked Stevens.

He said that from this study, it appeared that was not the case. And, as far as ADHD symptoms were concerned, "It was clear that the relationship with TV viewing was close to zero".

She was quick to point out that the researchers weren't advocating TV viewing in children; however she added, "I think these findings take a little bit of the pressure off parents."

Jess Shatkin, director of education and training at the New York University Child Study Center, said he wasn't prepared to fully accept the new findings.

"This is a thoughtful and interesting study, but there's not enough data to support the idea that we shouldn't be cautious about kids' exposure to all media. This doesn't change anything I would tell parents."

The bottom line for parents, he said, is "all things in moderation".

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