Too much TV blamed for loneliness, stress in kids

NZ Herald 29 August 2013
Children who watch too much television are more likely to have psychological problems and are at risk of not developing the skills that enable them to succeed at life, a psychologist says.

The comments follow a British Government briefing document which said children who spent more time on computers, watching TV and playing video games, tended to have lower self-esteem and greater emotional problems.

The report, by Public Health England, found that excessive “screen time” of more than four hours a day was linked to anxiety and depression and was responsible for limiting a child’s opportunity for social interaction and physical activity.

“The greater the time spent in front of the screen, the greater the negative impact on both behavioural and emotional issues relating to the child’s development,” said Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England.

Wellington clinical psychologist Josephine Leech, who specialises in child and family issues, said children who spent more time inside and in front of the TV were likely to have more problems and were not exposed to life’s challenges.