WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - This may come as a surprise, but children watch too much TV — and that includes the TV they’re not necessarily watching.
On a daily basis, children keep on an average of four hours’ worth of background TV, perhaps stunting their behavior during adolescence, according to a new study from the University of Amsterdam.
The study, which was published earlier this week in Pediatrics, is the first to help track a child’s indirect exposure to TV and the effect it has on their development. The research surveyed more than 1,400 parents with children ages 8 months to 8 years old.
“The sheer amount of exposure is startling,” study author Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, an assistant professor with the Amsterdam School of Communication Research at the University of Amsterdam, told Pediatrics.
Though the study did not specify what kind of programming children are usually indirectly exposed to, researchers believe the amount of time TV is kept on in the background, ranging from two to five and a half hours, will have a negative effect.
“Experimental studies have shown that background TV exposure has been linked to lower attention when kids are playing and weaker parent-child interactions,” Piotrowski said to the Huffington Post. “We do know from experimental studies that we should be concerned about it, but we don’t know about a threshold at which it becomes a problem.”