A report from Texas Tech University in Lubbock said that if there is an association, it may be that the exhausted parents of already overly active children are more likely to let them watch TV to give themselves a break, and not that TV itself leads to attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
The results were made following data from a survey of parents and teachers of 5,000 U.S. children over a two-year period, to determine if TV viewing habits during the kindergarten year resulted in ADHD in first grade.
The study published in the March issue of "Paediatrics," the journal of the American Academy of Paediatrics said, "The results of the present study do not indicate the presence of an important relationship between television exposure and subsequent attention problems,"
In the earlier 2004 study appearing in the same journal, which used a different database, found each hour of TV watched during ages 1 to 3 increased the risk of attention problems by 10 percent at age 7.
"Researchers have learned that much of child development is reciprocal, with characteristics of a child influencing the way that child is parented in addition to parenting influencing characteristics of a child. It may be that exhausted parents of very active and inattentive children resort to using the television as a 'babysitter' more commonly than do parents of less active and more attentive children. Thus, the relationship between early television viewing and later attention problems may be linked to child temperament as much as or more than television causing children to be inattentive.