Association of television viewing during childhood with poor educational achievement.

Robert Hancox, Barry Milne and Richie Poulton
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, July 2005

This large, long term study set in New Zealand supports earlier
research findings that watching a lot of TV is bad for

The more TV children watch, the more likely they are to leave
school without qualifications, and the less likely they are to get
a university degree, this study finds.

The most obvious reason for the association is that children are
watching TV instead of doing their homework, reading or engaging in
creative or other educationally enriching activities. The study did
not take into account which programmes were being watched, so could
not explore whether some educational programmes had a beneficial

Among teenagers, television viewing is also strongly associated
with leaving school without qualifications. However, the
researchers concede that watching a lot of TV could, for
adolescents, be a response to a lack of interest in school rather
than a cause of it.

Review by Frances Rickford

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