TV and Four-Year-Old Bullies

What I suspect
is these violent
animated shows
are causing kids
to become
desensitized
to violence.
–Frederick Zimmerman

Four-year-olds who watch a steady diet of television cartoons are more likely to become bullies than children whose parents read to them or those who eat together as a family.

A study by researchers at the University of Washington finds that children who watch three and a half hours of TV per day are 25% more likely to be “cruel or mean to others.” Between the ages of six to eleven these children start to act as bullies. Children who watch more than eight hours of television per day are 200% more likely to become bullies.

The American Academy of Pediatric Medicine, which released the study, has added bullying to the list of potential negative consequences of excessive television viewing. The list includes obesity, inattention, and other types of aggression.

The study is reported in New Scientist .

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