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a frog the size of texas

September 25th, 2007

12:37 pm - ADHD and TV

Just ran across a study (re-analyzing old data from previous studies that came to opposite conclusions) positing a link between watching voer 2 hours of television a day as a young child and the incidence of ADHD.

Cut for abstractCollapse )

My big issue is not with the news that there may be a link, it's with the suggestion, "These results support the hypothesis that childhood television viewing may contribute to the development of attention problems and suggest that the effects may be long-lasting." Isn't it just as likely that kids with short attention spans prefer watching television because it fits better with their thought patterns? Correlation does not mean causation!

I bring this up because I've got anecdotal evidence that it doesn't have a damn thing to do with watching television: from the ages of 4 to 6 I was in the Serengeti National Park with no access to television whatsoever, and watched way less than 2 hours a day for the next few years because it took me that long to understand the concept of TV schedules. I'd just turn the TV on and hope that whatever I wanted to watch was on. (I don't think I started watching TV regularly until I was 9 or so, and then at the age of 15 we moved to the country and only got two channels, so I stopped watching it and didn't pick it up on a serious basis until I graduated college.)


I haven't read the full article yet, because it's not accessible online by my library at this point. They may address this point in the article, but it's certainly not in the abstract. (The other big problem is that the data is self-reported, not verified independently, so we can't really be sure of its accuracy. It's entirely possible that parents of children with attention problems may over-report TV viewing because they think it's part of the problem, or vice versa.)

08:48 pm

Inexplicably, not one of you guys picked up on the footnote I left in the Giant Gin Post that read:Read more...Collapse )
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