Child couch potatoes tomorrow's criminals?

A LONGITUDINAL study of TV watching by children links the habit to later antisocial and even criminal behaviour.

Researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand, followed 1000 children born in Dunedin, finding those regularly glued to the box throughout their primary school and early high school years were more likely to have aggressive personality traits and an increased risk of psychiatric disorders characterised by antisocial behaviour in adulthood.

The findings are claimed to be more robust than previous research on the topic as the data were collected every two years between the ages of five and 15 and adjusted for socio-economic status, childhood aggression and parenting factors.

Pediatrics 2013; online 18 Feb