TEEN HEALTH Published July17, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Watching TV during Childhood Linked to Bullying Risk Later

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Children Watching TV
(Photo : Express | Hulton Archive)

Television has become a regular fixture in any childhood. For many, seeing objects moving right in front of their eyes while they were still toddlers was just fascinating. In fact, TV is important that as long as the content is appropriate for children, they can watch it for an hour or two. However, more than that may have some serious consequences.

A new study conducted on the effects of TV watching among children indicates that it may increase the risk of bullying by the time they reach sixth grade.

According to Linda Pagani who works in the University of Montreal, activities such as excessive TV watching among children may make them less sociable or interactive later. They may lack certain interpersonal skills that will allow them to build fruitful relationships with classmates and friends, making them perfect targets for bullying. The study is conducted along with CHU Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital.

For her study, Pagani and her team worked with around 2,000 teens and their parents who are based in Canada. They asked the parents about their children's viewing habits while they quizzed the kids on their experiences of bullying in sixth grade, such as how often bullies took objects away from them and whether they had gone through abuse.

Based on the results, TV viewing habits by the time they are a little more than 2 years old can already indicate the risk of bullying by the time they reach sixth grade. Moreover, the risk of bullying increases by as much as 11% for every 53 minutes of TV viewing every day. This is after other factors that may lead to bullying have been considered.

Too much TV simply prevents children to be more creative, explorative, and expressive. According to Pagani, once the children have met their daily needs including hygiene, sleeping, and eating, the rest of the time should be spent on activities that enrich them and their relationships.  

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