When Dimitri Christakis noticed his three-month-old son's enchantment with television, he wondered how the exposure might affect a child's developing mind. So Christakis, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and Children's Hospital in Seattle, and his colleagues designed a study to find out.
The researchers asked parents of 1,345 children how much television their kids had watched at the ages of one and three and how well the children were able to pay attention (based on questions from a hyperactivity behavioral profile) at age seven. Christakis discovered that with each additional hour of television a child watched a day before age four, a child's risk of having attention problems at age seven increased by 9 percent.
This article was originally published with the title TV Weakens Attention.