Hyper TV makes for hyper kids

Young children who watch fast-paced television shows may find it difficult to pay attention, solve problems and moderate behaviour according to a new University of Virginia study.

The researchers tested 4-year-old children immediately after they had watched nine minutes of the popular show “SpongeBob SquarePants” to see how well they could solve problems, follow rules, remember what they had been told, and if they were able to delay gratification.

They then compared this group to another group of 4-year-olds who had either watched nine minutes of “Caillou,” a slower-paced, realistic public television show, or had spent nine minutes drawing and found that the latter did much better in terms of learning and behaviour.

The lead researcher, Angeline Lillard, a psychology professor in U.Va.‘s College of Arts & Sciences, advises parents to consider the findings when making decisions as to which television shows to allow their young children to watch – if they watch television at all.

“Parents should know that children who have just watched 'SpongeBob Squarepants,’ or shows like it, might become compromised in their ability to learn and behave with self-control,” she said.

Read more at University of Virgina