Lifestyle & Belief

Children who watch too much television are more likely to have criminal convictions, study says


Children who have a TV in their bedroom are more than twice as likely to be overweight, according to new study looking at concerns about health and TV watching.


Peter Macdiarmid

Children and teens who watch too much television are more likely to have criminal records as adults, a New Zealand study suggests. The study, by researchers at the University of Otago, found that the risk of getting a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by 30 percent with each hour that a child spent watching television on a week night, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The study tracked the viewing habits of about 1,000 children born in the early 1970 from ages 5 to 15, AFP reported. The researchers followed up with the subjects when they were 26. 

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The study also found that excessive tv was linked to aggressive personality traits, antisocial behavior and negative emotions."While we're not saying that television causes all antisocial behavior, our findings do suggest that reducing television viewing could go some way towards reducing rates of antisocial behavior in society," co-author Bob Hancox told AFP.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long said that children should not watch more than two hours of television a day.