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Too much TV, computer can ruin your child's mental health

Saturday, October 16, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: television, mental health, health news

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(NaturalNews) Parents who allow their kids to watch their favorite shows and play their favorite video games every day may be damaging their mental health. According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, pre-teen children who spend a lot of time in front of television and computer screens every day are at a heightened risk of developing psychological problems, even if those children also participate in physical activities.

Based on an analysis of over 1,000 children between the ages of ten and eleven, researchers found that children who spend at least two hours a day in front of a screen are 60 percent more likely to have psychological problems than children who spend less or no time.

Earlier this year, a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that really young children who watch lots of television are more likely to develop aggressive behavior (http://www.naturalnews.com/028096_television...). And just last month, Canadian researchers found that toddlers who watch television are more likely to have poor health and perform poorly in school by the time they turn age ten (http://www.naturalnews.com/029715_television...).

However, the new study adds even more serious problems to the mix. And the types of psychological problems observed in children who watch too much television and spend too much time on the computer are not necessarily minor ones.

"These are big-deal issues, like hyperactivity, difficulty with peers and friends, poor conduct and antisocial kinds of behavior," explained Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, an associate professor of pediatrics at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. And while slightly higher in mostly sedentary children, the risk for active and athletic children who watch a lot of television and play on the computer is still roughly 50 percent higher than children who do not.

"For parents, the key take-away is that TV and computer use may interfere with children's emotional well-being," added Mendelsohn.

Sources for this story include:

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