Research by Gentile, D. A., Berch, O. N., Choo, H., Khoo, A., Walsh, D. A. (2017)
Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S.
What impact on children is there from having media in their bedrooms such as television, computers, video games and cellphones? Does it affect their development?
Researchers tested whether these media replace other activities and changes the type of media children watch. They assessed what risk more bedroom media time and exposure to more violence has on increased obesity, video game addiction, aggression and decreased school performance.
They analyzed data of three long-term studies of elementary and middle school children, each with between 400 to 3,000 participants. Children completed questionnaires, self-reports and assessments about screen time, aggressive behaviors, violence exposure, physical characteristics, school performance and other activities over time.
Results found that children with media in their bedroom have more screen time, spend less time on other activities such as reading or sleeping. The bedroom media increased the risk of obesity, exposed children to violence and was related to an increase in aggressive behaviors. It also led to students having lower academic performance.
So, parents, although tempting and easier to allow children to have media in their bedrooms, set limits. Keep media in a shared living space! Encourage time for play, homework, sports, clubs, family, and engaging in social activities.
Gentile, D. A., Berch, O. N., Choo, H., Khoo, A., Walsh, D. A. (2017). Bedroom media: One risk factor for development. Developmental Psychology, 53(23), 2340-2355.