An American study has linked television use to aggression in three-year-olds, even if the child wasn’t watching the TV. The study which collected survey data from over 3,000 mothers found that indirect exposure, such as the TV use by other members of the household, increased aggression in the children and could have a detrimental impact on the children’s development. The study also found that co-viewing TV with parents increased the likelihood of exposure to inappropriate material.

The researchers highlighted that the study is the first to show the negative impact of indirect television exposure, saying that “no other studies we found have accounted for additional household TV use.”

Psychologist and Generation Next speaker Dr Michael Carr-Gregg highlighted the importance of regular, consistent sleep and play in childhood development. “The problem with plonking kids in front of the TV is it doesn’t excite their imagination. A lot of kids forget how to think,” he said.

The study can be found here.

Writer Tristan Boyd, editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.