Home environmental influences on children's television watching from early to middle childhood

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2002 Jun;23(3):127-32. doi: 10.1097/00004703-200206000-00001.


Identifying correlates of children's television (TV) watching could help identify strategies to reduce children's TV watching and impact children's weight status. Children's TV time and home environment factors were assessed longitudinally among 169 families with children followed from 6 to 12 years of age. TV watching increased with age, as did the number of in-home TVs and the presence of videocassette recorders (VCRs), the frequency of meal eating while watching TV, and the percentage of children with bedroom TVs. Greater meal eating while watching TV was consistently related to overall TV watching and increases in TV watching over time. The number of in-home TVs and the presence of a bedroom TV were less consistent correlates. TV watching was related to weight status when children were younger, and when children were older, more than 2 hours of TV daily was a risk factor for higher weight. Modifying TV access, particularly by reducing the frequency of meals eaten while watching TV, could promote lower children's TV watching and adiposity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Eating
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Television*
  • Time Factors