TV Not All Bad for Kids, Study Discovers

Some couch potatoes apparently got wise watching boob tube
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2008 6:23 AM CDT
Lynn Finkel, stage manager for Sesame Street, slates a taping with Big Bird earlier this year in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – TV has long been blamed for social ills from childhood obesity to plunging SAT scores, but a pair of researchers say the "idiot box" could actually be doing kids some good, the Wall Street Journal reports. Examined test data from 1965 showed that children with more access to TV generally scored higher in cognitive abilities. The results were particularly marked among kids from non-English-speaking homes and children of parents with little education.

The study, published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, may give some relief to parents of square-eyed sons and daughters everywhere, but the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends that children's TV time be strictly limited. "Television can be incredibly pro-social and useful to kids," a spokesman said. "The problem is separating the wheat from the chaff."

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