A new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University indicates that third-graders with televisions in their bedrooms perform significantly more poorly on standardized tests than their peers without. Conversely, those with access to a home computer earn higher test scores. The differences persist regardless of the amount of time the students reported spending on homework.
"This study provides even more evidence that parents should either take the television out of their child's room, or not put it there in the first place," said Thomas Robinson, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and associate professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine.
Robinson is the senior author of the research, published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. He collaborated with lead author Dina Borzekowski to survey about 350 third-graders at six public elementary schools in northern California in 2000. Borzekowski is an assistant professor in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.
The researchers found that more than 70 percent of the students reported having a television in their bedroom. These students scored between seven and nine points lower on standardized mathematics, reading and language arts tests than did their peers. Conversely, those with access to home computers scored between seven and nine points higher than those without. The highest average scores were netted by students with computer access and without a bedroom TV; students with a personal television and without computer access at h
Contact: Krista Conger
Stanford University Medical Center