Researchers in New Zealand found that kids who watched more than 2 hours of TV per day between ages 5 to 11 were significantly more likely to develop symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) than those who watched less.
“Those who watched more than two hours, and particularly those who watched more than three hours, of television per day during childhood had above-average symptoms of attention problems in adolescence,” Carl Landhuis of the University of Otago in Dunedin wrote in his report, published in the journal Pediatrics.
Young children who watched a lot of television were more likely to continue the habit as they got older, but even if they did not the damage was done, the report said.
“Hence, children who watch a lot of television may become less tolerant of slower-paced and more mundane tasks, such as school work,” the researchers wrote.
The most interesting part of the article was the possible explanations for why this relationship exists. The researchers thought (a) rapid scene changes influence brain development; and (b) television replaced other activities like reading — activities that require attention development.
This is a pretty old idea on ADHD, but I think this new data can shore-up some of those concerns.