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TV Causes Learning Lags in Infants

Health Infants TV 2009

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#1 Rhea

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 01:07 PM

http://news.yahoo.co...inglagininfants

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"We've known that television exposure during infancy is associated with language delays and attentional problems, but so far it has remained unclear why," said lead researcher Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages television watching before the age of 2, a time when critical development, such as language acquisition, occurs. (Christakis said a baby's brain triples in size during the first two years of life, so there's a lot going on in that little noggin.)

To figure out the TV-language link, Christakis and his colleagues rounded up 329 2-month to 4-year-old children and their parents. The kids wore digital devices on random days each month for up to two years that recorded everything they heard or said for 12 to 16 hours. The researchers didn't determine whether the adults and kids were actively watching the television or if it was just on in the background.

Analyses of the recordings revealed that each hour of additional television exposure was linked with a decrease of 770 words (7 percent) the child heard from an adult during the recording session. Hours of television were also associated with a decrease in the number and length of child vocalizations and the back and forth between the child and an adult (called a conversational turn).

"Some of these reductions are likely due to children being left alone in front of the television screen," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, "but others likely reflect situations in which adults, though present, are distracted by the screen and not interacting with their infant in a discernible manner."

And interaction is key for baby's brain.

"The reason it's concerning is because we know that hearing adults speak and being spoken to are critical exposures that play a role in infants development in language," Christakis told LiveScience.

With 30 percent of households having televisions on all the time, the researchers wondered how many fewer opportunities there were for children and parents to communicate and socialize.

"My recommendation first is that children under the age of 2 be discouraged from watching television," Christakis said. He added that even if the TV show is intended for the adults, the effect is the same for their children.

So much for those stupid Baby Einstein videos.

Common sense alone should tell you that kids who spend too much time in front of the tv aren't interacting with their families or other kids, which is not healthy.

Edited by Rhea, 02 June 2009 - 01:09 PM.

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Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#2 Vapor Trails

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:49 PM

There's a reason Harlan Ellison called television The Glass Teat. :p :p
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#3 Vapor Trails

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:54 PM

View PostRhea, on Jun 2 2009, 02:07 PM, said:

Common sense alone should tell you that kids who spend too much time in front of the tv aren't interacting with their families or other kids, which is not healthy.

:howling:

Common sense?? In HUMANS????

Surely, you jest. :p~
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#4 Nikcara

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:58 PM

30% of homes have the tv on all the time?  I honestly found that more surprising then the idea that tv causes delays in language.  But then again, I don't watch tv.  The tv I own is used only for video games and the occasional dvd.
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#5 Vapor Trails

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:19 PM

View PostNikcara, on Jun 3 2009, 09:58 PM, said:

30% of homes have the tv on all the time?  I honestly found that more surprising then the idea that tv causes delays in language.  But then again, I don't watch tv.  The tv I own is used only for video games and the occasional dvd.

I have basic cable, but only for my elderly mom. I rarely watch TV-and if I do, it's usually the news. I'm usually too busy for TV, anyway.
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#6 sierraleone

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:18 AM

View PostNikcara, on Jun 3 2009, 09:58 PM, said:

30% of homes have the tv on all the time?  I honestly found that more surprising then the idea that tv causes delays in language.  But then again, I don't watch tv.  The tv I own is used only for video games and the occasional dvd.

I doubt its actually being *watched* all the time. And do they just mean powered on? (I can have my cable box off and tv on with a blank screen) or do they mean some actual media on the screen? (movie, tv, game, whatever).

I wonder how often it happens in a house where a partner has been turfed (voluntarilly or otherwise) to the couch?
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#7 Rhea

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:16 PM

View PostNikcara, on Jun 3 2009, 06:58 PM, said:

30% of homes have the tv on all the time?  I honestly found that more surprising then the idea that tv causes delays in language.  But then again, I don't watch tv.  The tv I own is used only for video games and the occasional dvd.

TV doesn't provide you with one of the most important ways of learning language - conversation (the back and forth you get with a real live person, in particular the child's parents). In fact, interation with parents may be the most important, for more reasons than just language, but if a parent is glued to the tube, they're not interacting with their kids and same thing when the kid is glued to the tube. Too many parents use TV as a babysitter, even when they're home

And as far as 30% having a TV on all the time, a lot of homes have multiple TV's and something is always on (they meant powered on, whether it was actively being watched or not). I don't find it at all surprising.

Edited by Rhea, 06 June 2009 - 08:19 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



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