Research: TV Is Intellectually and Socially Dumbing Down Young Children

Posted by on March 31, 2016 in Films & TV, Media & Arts with 28 Comments

Baby Watching Television

By Phillip Schneider | Waking Times

It is common for parents to feel that their children are spending too much time in front of the television set. According to a Canadian study, children who watch an excessive amount of television exhibit a multitude of negative side effects including poor language and social skills, and increased bullying.

The 2013 study was set out to determine whether or not viewing television at 29 months (about 2.5 years) was associated with school performance at 65 months (about 5.5 years).

The study, which was conducted on 991 girls and 1,006 boys with parent and teacher reported data, came to this conclusion:

“Increases in total time watching television at 29 months were associated with subsequent decreases in vocabulary and math skills, classroom engagement (which is largely determined by attention skills), victimization by classmates, and physical prowess at kindergarten. These prospective associations, independent of key potential co-founders, suggest the need for better parental awareness and compliance with existing viewing recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).”

Related Article: Parents Beware: 6 Ways Screentime is Making Kids Moody, Crazy & Lazy

According to this study, every 1.2 hours of television viewing for children at 29 months results in poorer motor, vocabulary, math, and social skills, and even an increase in the likelihood of being bullied, as television inhibits the development of self-confidence.

The study also notes that many parents seem to be unconcerned about how long their children spend watching TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over age 2 do not watch more than 2 hours per day, and that children below the age of 2 watch no TV at all. Presumes that the content is age appropriate, of course.

Also interesting is that as the AAP finds educational television to show positive effects on children, while watching non-educational cartoons, fast-paced cartoons, mainly lowers their attention span.

Viewing time as a child also indirectly affects the child, the study notes. At a time where brain growth and development are heavily dependent on external stimulation, TV viewing takes away from the time that child will spend with more creative or social activities, such as family or imaginative play time.

“The preschool years, which culminate in kindergarten entry, represent a sensitive period in the development of cognitive, sensorimotor, and socio-emotional characteristics that play a key role in eventual academic and personal success” the study says, indicating a prediction of future success in life. “School readiness should also be concerned with preparedness to adopt healthy lifestyle skills and habits because disparities in educational attainment often translate into disparities in healthy lifestyle habits, well-being, and family social support.”

However hard it can be, it is becoming ever more clear how important it is to engage young children with more intellectual and social activities, rather than just the sedative task of television watching. Perhaps encouraging them play, imagine and follow their own intuition will give them broader opportunities in life, both socially and intellectually.

About the Author

Phillip Schneider is a student and a contributing author to Waking Times.


This article (Research: TV is Intellectually and Socially Dumbing Down Young Children) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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28 Reader Comments

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  1.' Sacha Christie says:

    The light waves also disrupt melatonin production which has many biological knock on effects.

  2.' Trúc Nguyễn says:

    Hello everyone, Conscious Life News…How well do your eyes actually see?, Take This Test now…L67DDqD play now (y) ~>

    Thanks for view: Increases in total time watching television at 29 months were associated with subsequent decreases in vocabulary and math skills, classroom engagement…

  3.' Derek R Girard says:

    Demi Labelle Pablo McAllie

  4.' Liz Hewitt Pentz says:

    Is this new news???!!!!

  5.' Hot Trend says:

    Thanks for the info big fan here

  6.' Barry Rumsey says:

    And adults too?

  7.' Angelica Sellers says:

    but isn’t that the goal?

  8.' Oliver von Borstel says:

    Kijk uit Sanne von Borstel met het tv gedrag van Sophie

  9.' Bryan Weaver says:


  10.' Jeff Andrews says:

    pay attention to the breadwinner parent

  11.' Joshuahn Jackstonburg says:

    Depends on what you have them watch.

  12.' Floydell Bibbs Sr. says:

    Damn lie!!!

  13.' G Matthew Oothoudt says:

    There is nothing more disturbing than watching eyes glaze over and the jaws relaxing of people engrossed in a television screen. I have to leave the room, house or whatever venue.

  14.' Kim Mullins says:

    This is how my ex daughter inlaw does my grandchildren. Hours upon hours

  15.' Kim Cabangal Cruz says:

    Criselda Dela Cruz Gloria Cruz Alexis Cruz Winnie Omaga

  16.' Dan Ryan says:

    good fun thank you!!!

  17.' Randy Dixon says:

    I agree

  18.' Tito Chacon says:

    Donald trump is

  19.' Jeffrey Jorgensen says:


  20.' Karen Nishino-Yang says:

    Peter Yang

    •' Sam Truong says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about it. My nephew is super smart and he watches a crap tonne of YouTube. I would say he learns a lot from YouTube.

  21.' Shaun Watson says:

    Yes hardly surprising with all the shit they air!! Radio just as bad

  22.' Trish Jameson says:

    I’m not surprised.

  23.' Lynn Valen says:


  24.' Jill Kruft-Johnson says:

    Yes limit tv

  25.' Oliver McDermott says:

    We haven’t had a TV for years. The result: when we shop, my child DOESN’T ask for things she never saw on ‘the box’

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