ADHD Is Not Caused By Watching TV, Study Shows

Quelle surprise.

ADHD myth #405 busted. So many myths. Nice that there is science to call out the ignorant ADHD stigmatizers. A while ago a study implied that early exposure to TV might cause ADHD.

A new study in Pediatrics, March 2006, Volume 117 / ISSUE 3 by Tara Stevens, Miriam Mulsow showed that

“as far as ADHD symptoms were concerned, “It was clear that the relationship with TV viewing was close to zero.”


Title of the study was “There Is No Meaningful Relationship Between Television Exposure and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.”


She was quick to point out that she and co-author Miriam Mulsow weren’t advocating TV viewing in children, however. But she added, “I think these findings take a little bit of the pressure off parents. It’s very likely that you did not do something wrong to make your child develop ADHD.”


Seeking to explain why previous research found an association between television viewing and ADHD and the new study did not, Stevens said parents of hyperactive children may use TV as a babysitter more than other parents, simply because they need a break or need to capture their child’s attention while they make dinner or take a shower.

ADHD is an neurobiological condition, which is mainly caused by genetic inheritance, i.e., the child usually gets it from one or both of their parents.

That being said, I think the fewer TV people of all ages watch the better, The Daily Show, of course, being the exception:)

Here were some of the flaws in the earlier study noted by the ADD.About site (now sadly deleted) in their article “Study cannot conclude that TV leads to ADD/ADHD”

Dr. Christakis also admits to the many problems associated with this study:

• The data collected was based solely on the answer of parents.


• No diagnosis of ADD/ADHD was made by the researchers. There was no input by teachers or doctors on the children’s problems.


• No children were actually observed during the study, it was based solely on data collected by a major government survey.


• The study could not conclude that children who watch television had a higher risk of developing ADD/ADHD because they did not have access to any teacher reports. Reports from teachers are an essential part of the diagnostic process of ADD/ADHD.



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