TV Slows Babies' Learning: Study

Cuts crucial talking time with adults
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 2, 2009 3:10 PM CDT
Watching television takes away from babies' time talking with and hearing adults.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Infants’ time in front of the tube can mean less interaction with parents—interaction key to language development, a study suggests. Over 2 years, researchers recorded what kids aged two months to 4 years heard and said in random 12- to 16-hour periods. The scientists found that every additional hour of TV was associated with 770 fewer words heard from an adult, LiveScience reports.

More TV time was also linked to less baby vocalization and “conversation” with adults. “Some of these reductions are likely due to children being left alone in front of the television screen, but others likely reflect situations in which adults, though present, are distracted by the screen and not interacting with their infant in a discernible manner,” researchers wrote.