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J Genet Psychol. 2004 Dec;165(4):367-81.

Exploring pathways from television viewing to academic achievement in school age children.

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Visiting International Professional Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA.


The author's purpose in this study was to test 4 hypotheses that proposed different paths for the influences of children's television viewing on their academic achievement. Data were drawn from the 1997 Child Development Supplement (CDS) to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The population for this study included 1,203 children between the ages of 6 and 13 years from the CDS-PSID data set. The author used structural equation modeling to test pathways from children's television viewing to their academic achievement. The author assumed that children's television viewing hindered their academic achievement by reducing certain traits that related to academic achievement. Results showed that 3 hypothetical models fit the data--the time-displacement hypothesis, the mental effort-passivity hypothesis, and the attention-arousal hypothesis. A 4th hypothetical model, the learning-information hypothesis, which proposed that children's television viewing practices stimulate their academic achievement, was not supported. In sum, children who watched more television tended to spend less time doing homework, studying, and reading for leisure. In addition, their behaviors became more impulsive, which resulted in an eventual decrease in their academic achievement.

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