Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

TV may turn four-year-olds into bullies

Filed under
Misc

Young children who watch a lot of television are more likely to become bullies, a new study reveals. The authors suggest the increasingly violent nature of children's cartoons may be to blame.

Previous studies have linked television to aggressive behaviour in older children and adolescents. But a team led by Frederick Zimmerman, an economist at the University of Washington in Seattle, US, has now traced the phenomenon to four-year-olds.

The researchers used existing data from a national US survey to study the amount of television watched by 1266 four-year-olds. Then they compared that amount with follow-up reports - by the children's mothers - on whether the children bullied or were "cruel or mean to others" when they were between six and 11 years old.

The study showed that four-year-olds who watched the average amount of television - 3.5 hours per day - were 25% more likely to become bullies than those who watched none. And children who watched eight hours of television a day were 200% more likely to become bullies.

The study did not probe what types of programmes the children were watching, but Zimmerman suggests they were mainly animated videos and cartoons. He says such shows may follow a trend seen in movies and cites a recent study showing the average G-rated kids' movie contains (U-rated in the UK) about 9.5 minutes of violence - up from 6 minutes in 1940.

"What I suspect is these violent animated shows are causing kids to become desensitised to violence," he told New Scientist. "Parents should understand that, just because a TV show or movie is made for kids, it doesn't mean it's good for kids - especially four-year-olds."

He suggests parents follow guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends no television for children under two and no more than two hours a day for older kids. "We have added bullying to the list of potential negative consequences of excessive television viewing, along with obesity, inattention, and other types of aggression," write the authors in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The study also looked at two other factors thought to decrease the likelihood of bullying - Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Edubuntu Vs UberStudent: Return To College With The Best Linux Distro

Importantly, there are a handful of programs that are on Edubuntu that UberStudent doesn’t have, such as KAlgebra, Kazium, KGeography, and Marble. Instead, UberStudent has a smaller collection of applications but it does include some useful items when it comes to writing papers that Edubuntu does not have. So ultimately, Edubuntu includes more programs that are information-heavy, while UberStudent includes more tools that can aid students in their studies but doesn’t directly give them any sort of information. Read more

Zotac Nvidia Jetson TK1 review

The Jetson TK1, Nvidia’s first development board to be marketed at the general public, has taken a circuitous route to our shores. Unveiled at the company’s Graphics Technology Conference earlier this year, the board launched in the US at a headline-grabbing price of $192 but its international release was hampered by export regulations. Zotac, already an Nvidia partner for its graphics hardware, volunteered to sort things out and has partnered with Maplin to bring the board to the UK. In doing so, however, the price has become a little muddled. $192 – a clever dollar per GPU core – has become £199.99. Compared to Maplin’s other single-board computer, the sub-£30 Raspberry Pi, it’s a high-end item that could find itself priced out of the reach of the company’s usual customers. Read more

New Human Interface Guidelines for GNOME and GTK+

I’ve recently been hard at work on a new and updated version of the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines, and am pleased to announce that this will be ready for the upcoming 3.14 release. Over recent years, application design has evolved a huge amount. The web and native applications have become increasingly similar, and new design patterns have become the norm. During that period, those of us in the GNOME Design Team have worked with developers to expand the range of GTK+’s capabilities, and the result is a much more modern toolkit. Read more