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Prev Med. 2012 Feb;54(2):168-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Association between childhood and adolescent television viewing and unemployment in adulthood.

Author information

1
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Applied Humanities, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. erik.landhuis@aut.ac.nz

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the long-term association between childhood television viewing and adult unemployment, and if this association is mediated by educational achievement.

METHOD:

Study members were a general-population birth cohort of 1037 participants born in New Zealand in 1972/1973. Hours of weekday television viewing were reported at ages 5-15. Since age 18, unemployment was assessed retrospectively using life-history calendars to age 32. Information on educational qualifications was collected at age 32.

RESULTS:

Childhood and adolescent television viewing predicted adult unemployment. This association was significant for male Study members only (β=0.20, p<0.0001). The association for male Study members remained after further controlling for socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, and early indications of behaviour problems (p<0.0007). The association was only partially mediated by educational achievement and television viewing remained a predictor of unemployment after adjusting for this (p=0.0035). By logistic regression, each additional hour of daily television viewing was associated with an increased likelihood of spending at least 6 months in unemployment between ages 18 and 32 years (OR=1.36, 95%, CI=1.06, 1.76, p=0.0157).

CONCLUSION:

Childhood and adolescent television viewing may have long-lasting consequences for adult unemployment for boys. This association is only partially explained by the association between television viewing and educational achievement.

PMID:
22178044
PMCID:
PMC3275436
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.11.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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