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“Our study shows that television exposure is not linked to later symptoms of ADHD as previously suggested.”

Dr. Tara Stevens
Girl with Remote


Link Between ADHD, Television Viewing Habits among Children Disputed

For years parents have suspected television may be the primary culprit in the development of ADHD in children. But don’t change that dial – two Texas Tech researchers say that may not be the case.

Research/Academic Showcase

Miriam Mulsow and Tara Stevens Miriam Mulsow and Tara Stevens found no link to ADHD symptoms and the time a child spends watching television.

For some time researchers have correlated early and excessive television exposure in children as a predictor of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder later in life.

But in a recent study conducted at Texas Tech University, Dr. Tara Stevens and Dr. Miriam Mulsow concluded that television exposure in early childhood may not play a significant role in the development of symptoms related to ADHD in children later on in life as once thought.

While it’s probable that the exhausted parents of children who exhibit symptoms of ADHD are more likely to resort to using television as a babysitter, the set has little to do with formation of the condition; the evidence revealed television exposure was a weak predictor of later ADHD symptoms.

“Our study shows that television exposure is not linked to later symptoms of ADHD as previously suggested,” says Tara Stevens, Ed.D., an assistant professor of Education, who co-wrote the report with Miriam Mulsow, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies.  

The study, titled “There Is No Meaningful Relationship Between Television Exposure and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,” was published in PEDIATRICS, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Learn more and watch the researchers discuss their findings at Texas Tech Research Horizon, a Web site created to showcase how faculty, staff and students of our schools, colleges and institutes are contributing to the South Plains, Texas and the world.