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The Pediatric Forum
January 2006

Potential Confounders That May Explain the Association Between Television Viewing and Poor Educational Achievement

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(1):107-108. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.1.107-b

The issue of television watching among children and adolescents, and the possible negative developmental correlates of this common childhood activity, continue to be an ongoing concern for our society and its researchers. We therefore read with interest the recent report of Hancox et al,1 which used a powerful longitudinal epidemiologic study design to demonstrate a significant relationship between quantity of television viewing in childhood and poor educational attainment in adulthood. In their analysis, they adjusted for some of the important confounding factors that may affect educational attainment (ie, childhood IQ, gender, socioeconomic status, and behavioral problems). A surprising finding in the study was the large quantity of time children were viewing television (children aged 5-11 years: mean, 2.06 hours [SD, 0.82 hours]; adolescents aged 13-15 years: mean, 3.13 hours [SD, 1.43 hours]).

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