Background: High television exposure time at young age has been described as a potential risk factor for developing behavioral problems. However, less is known about the effects of preschool television on subsequent bullying involvement. We examined the association between television viewing time through ages 2-5 and bullying involvement in the first grades of elementary school. We hypothesized that high television exposure increases the risk of bullying involvement.
Method: TV viewing time was assessed repeatedly in early childhood using parental report. To combine these repeated assessments we used latent class analysis. Four exposure classes were identified and labeled "low", "mid-low", "mid-high" and "high". Bullying involvement was assessed by teacher questionnaire (n = 3423, mean age 6.8 years). Additionally, peer/self-report of bullying involvement was obtained using a peer nomination procedure (n = 1176, mean age 7.6 years). We examined child risk of being a bully, victim or a bully-victim (compared to being uninvolved in bullying).
Results: High television exposure class was associated with elevated risks of bullying and victimization. Also, in both teacher-and child-reported data, children in the high television exposure class were more likely to be a bully-victim (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 1.42-3.13 and OR = 3.68, 95% CI: 1.75-7.74 respectively). However, all univariate effect estimates attenuated and were no longer statistically significant once adjusted for maternal and child covariates.
Conclusions: The association between television viewing time through ages 2-5 and bullying involvement in early elementary school is confounded by maternal and child socio-demographic characteristics.
- REDUCING CHILDRENS TELEVISION
- GENERATION R
- ECONOMIC HARDSHIP