Excessive TV watching in childhood linked to increased risk of criminal behavior, say researchers

Researchers found that the risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by approximately 30 percent with every hour that children spent viewing television on an average weeknight.

Researchers from the University of Otago have found that children and adolescents who watch excessive amounts of TV are more likely to demonstrate criminal behavior when they become adults.

Researchers examined a group of approximately 1000 children born in the New Zealand city of Dunedin in 1972-73. Every two years between the ages of 5 and 15, the children were asked how much television they viewed. It should be noted, however, that researchers never asked study participants to report which televisions shows they watched.

Researchers found that those who watched more television were more likely to have a criminal conviction and were also more likely to have antisocial personality traits as adults.

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