Screen Time Linked To Psychological Woes
Health organizations have long recommended limiting the time kids sit in front of TV or computer screens. Excess screen time has been linked to childhood obesity.
But now a study of 1,000 British10- and 11-year-olds has found that children who spend more than two hours a day in front of a screen are more likely to have psychological difficulty, regardless of how physically active they are.
However, the study’s authors, a team from the University of Bristol,said they cannot tell whether excess screen time causes psychological difficulties or whether troubled kids tend to spend more time in front of the screen. For their study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, participating children completed a strengths-and-difficulties questionnaire to assess their psychological well-being.
The study found that children who watch more than two hours of TV daily have a 61 percent greater likelihood of psychological troubles than other kids, and those who spend more than two hours on a computer were 59 percent more likely to have psychological issues.
For kids who also had low levels of physical activity, the risk of psychological problems rose 70 percent if they watched more than two hours of TV and increased 81 percent if they spent more than two hours on a computer.
Kids who were physically active still had a 50 percent greater chance of psychological problems if they spend more than two hours daily watching TV or on the computer. Compared to other children who spent more than two daily hours in front of the screen, physically active kids fared better in certain psychological areas, including emotional and peer problems, but fared worse in some areas related to conduct, including hyperactivity.