Too Much Screen Time Linked to Psychological Problems

Filed under: News, In The News, Weird But True, Movies, Video Games, New In Pop Culture

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Make sure your kid isn't getting too much screen time. Credit: Corbis

And you thought too much IM-ing was your biggest concern when you bought your child that laptop? Turns out you've got bigger things to worry about.

Playing video games and watching television can affect the psychological well-being of kids who are otherwise active, an article in the online issue of Pediatrics says.

Researchers from England looked at how much time 1,000 10- and 11-year-old children spent on recreational media, such as computers and television, as well as how much time they spent being sedentary or engaged in moderate to vigorous activity.

The children also filled out a widely-used behavioral screening questionnaire, which the researchers used to assess their psychological health. Kids who spent more time watching TV and using the computer were more likely to have higher scores -- which indicates emotional difficulties -- regardless of how physically active they were.

Activity itself, in some cases, was an indicator of psychological troubles. The sedentary kids had better overall scores. Active kids fared better in some areas -- they had fewer emotional problems and issue with their peers -- but did worse in areas related to conduct and were more likely to be hyperactive.

The bottom line, according to the article, is that even if a child has a seemingly well-rounded lifestyle, too much screen time still has negative emotional effects.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.