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Pediatrics. 2008 Apr;121(4):718-24. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-1546.

Characteristics associated with older adolescents who have a television in their bedrooms.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 1300 South 2nd St, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.



The goals were to examine the prevalence of adolescents having a television in their bedroom and to describe associated personal, social, and behavioral characteristics.


Participants included 781 adolescents (mean age: 17.2 years) who completed a mailed Project Eating Among Teens II questionnaire. The relationships between adolescents having a television in their bedroom and sociodemographic, behavioral, and personal characteristics were examined.


Nearly two thirds (62%) of participants had a bedroom television. Gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age were associated with the presence of a bedroom television. Compared with girls without a bedroom television, girls with a bedroom television reported less time spent in vigorous activity (1.8 vs 2.5 hours/week), more time spent watching television (20.7 vs 15.2 hours/week), lower vegetable intake (1.7 vs 2.0 servings per day), greater sweetened beverage consumption (1.2 vs 1.0 servings per day), and fewer family meals (2.9 vs 3.7 meals per week). Compared with boys without a bedroom television, boys with a bedroom television reported more time spent watching television (22.2 vs 18.2 hours/week), lower fruit intake (1.7 vs 2.2 servings per day), fewer family meals (2.9 vs 3.6 meals per week), and lower grade point average (2.6 vs 2.9). Twice as many youths with a television in their bedroom were heavy television users (watched >5 hours/day), compared with youths without a television in their bedroom (16% vs 8%).


Adolescents with a bedroom television reported more television viewing time, less physical activity, poorer dietary habits, fewer family meals, and poorer school performance. Refraining from placing a television in teenagers' rooms may be a first step in helping to decrease screen time and subsequent poor behaviors associated with increased television watching.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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