Kids with Bedroom TVs Have Lower Test Scores -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Kids with Bedroom TVs Have Lower Test Scores

TV sets in children's bedrooms may
affect their mental skills

Conversely, those with access to a home computer earn higher test scores according to research conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. The differences persist regardless of the amount of time the students reported spending on homework.

"This study provides even more evidence that parents should either take the television out of their child's room, or not put it there in the first place," said Thomas Robinson, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and associate professor of paediatrics at the School of Medicine.

Robinson collaborated with lead author Dina Borzekowski to survey about 350 third-graders at six public elementary schools in northern California in 2000. Borzekowski is an assistant professor in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

The researchers found that more than 70 percent of the students reported having a television in their bedroom. These students scored between seven and nine points lower on standardised mathematics, reading and language arts tests than did their peers. Conversely, those with access to home computers scored between seven and nine points higher than those without. The highest average scores were netted by students with computer access and without a bedroom TV. Students with a personal television and without computer access at home scored the lowest, on average.

"This study doesn't prove that putting a television in your child's bedroom will decrease his or her test scores, but it does add to the increasing evidence that it's not a good idea," said Robinson, who is the author of previous studies showing that decreasing children's television viewing reduces obesity, aggressive behaviour and nagging for advertised toys.; Source: Stanford University Medical Center