TV and video games or mobile games can spoil a kid’s concentration power

Vineeta Pandey

DNA India, Aug 5, 2010.

Study says attention problems may linger till child attains adolescence.

Children may find television viewing and playing video games more fun than playing with other children.

But this temporary, quick-fix solution comes with a whole set of long-lasting problems.

A study published in American Journal of Pediatrics said that viewing television and playing video games can cause serious attention problems among children. What’s worse is that the problems may linger till they attain adolescence and, in some cases, continue even in their youth.

The study says that this can be because most television programmes involve rapid changes in focus and frequent exposure to television has the potential to harm children’s abilities to sustain focus on tasks that are not inherently attention-grabbing.

Also, since most TV shows are exciting, children who frequently watch them have more difficulty paying attention to less exciting tasks like school work. Similar is the case with children playing video games.

Delhi-based psychologist Dr Aruna Broota said, “Frequent television viewing leads to attention problems among children. They lose interest in studies, books and reading newspapers. Even if they read, they tend to lose interest fast and often do not complete the full story or book. This is because on TV events jump from one theme to the next. Children’s emotions get blunted as a result of watching cartoons, etc, which are thrilling and exciting.”

“Similarly, video games that are often seen as gadgets to help gain concentration among children can, in fact, lead to concentration problems if played for more than half-an-hour,” Broota said.

Attention problems, often manifested in the form of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, are associated with negative outcomes among children and adolescents, which include poor performance in school and increased aggression.

The study says that exposure to television and video games was associated with greater attention problems among late adolescents and young adults. This indicated that a child’s attention span continued to remain affected irrespective of whatever age he or she was addicted to watching TV or playing video games.

Similar studies in TV viewing and playing video games have been linked with problems such as high blood pressure and disturbed sleep among children.

More tips on concentration and studies, later,

Nalin Pithwa

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