Early Television Viewing Is Associated With Protesting Turning Off the Television at Age 6

Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH; Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD

In This Article


A total of 1331 children had complete data available. Approximately 51% of the children were boys and 57% were white. The demographic characteristics of included children are summarized in Table 1. The children watched an average of 2.64 hours (SD 2.43) of TV per day before age 4 and 3.62 (SD 2.67) at age 6. The distributions of hours of TV watched before age 4 are presented in Figure 1. Approximately 36% of children almost never protested having the TV turned off at age 6 and 37% almost never protested at age 4.

Distribution of hours of television watched per day.

In the ordered logistic regression model, the number of hours of TV viewed under age 4 was associated with an increased likelihood of protesting turning off the TV (odds ratio [OR], 0.04; confidence interval [95% CI, 0.02-0.06]; P < .000).

In the logistic regression model, the mean hours of TV viewed under age 4 was associated with increased probability of protesting having the TV turned off at age 6 (OR, 1.08; CI, 1.02-1.15) (Table 2). In our subanalysis of 302 children for whom we had BPI externalizing data at age 4, the amount of TV watched before age 4 remained significant (controlling for all of the same covariates) with a larger coefficient (OR, 1.24; CI, 1.03, 1.48) (full results not reported).


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