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New study: Television dumbs down your children

September 14, 2011

By Anneclaire Michele

AMSTERDAM – Excessive television exposure in the family home is harmful to a child’s educational success, concludes Natascha Notten in her doctoral dissertation presented Tuesday.

Based on data from the family-based questionnaire for the families in the Netherlands and the Program for International Students Assessment (PISA), she researched the long-term effects of media on the upbringing of children.

Educational results of children, whose parents often watch lowbrow or entertainment programs, are significantly lower, her research _ conducted at Radboud University Nijmegen _ claimed.

This conclusion explains the role model relationship between parents and children.

Setting an example of excessive television viewing conflicts with the norms and values a child gets taught in school.

This conflict shows why some children may be ill-equipped for a successful career in higher education.

Moreover, excessive television viewing of the parents also affects parent-child reading interaction, which in turn influences a child’s educational achievements.

The less time parents spend promoting reading and discussing books to their children, the less cultural competencies get fostered and the less the good school performance will be stimulated, the stud further concluded.

Notten said one television set was enough for each household.

“This even has a positive effect on your child in the long run, because it enhances their knowledge about the world, but this effect already diminishes with two televisions,” she said.

Adding more televisions to your household “turns the positive effect into a negative one,” she warned.

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