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Childhood TV addicts more likely to display anti-social behaviour as adult


17:59, February 19, 2013

(Xinhua Photo)

People who were exposed to much TV as kids are more likely to have criminal convictions and show aggressive personality traits as adults, according to a new study in New Zealand.

The study, published in the US journal "Pediatrics" as quoted by media Tuesday was conducted by the University of Otago, New Zealand.

It followed about 1,000 children aged 5 to 15 who were born in the early 1970s, and tracked the amount of TV they watched, then followed up when the subjects were young adults, from 17 to 26 years old, to assess the relations between TV viewing and anti-social and criminal behaviour.

The results were somewhat alarming. "The risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by about 30 percent with every hour that children spent watching television on an average weeknight," said Bob Hancox, co-author of the study.

"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.

The findings backed the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of no more than one to two hours of quality television watching per day for kids.

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