Television and children's executive function

Adv Child Dev Behav. 2015;48:219-48. doi: 10.1016/bs.acdb.2014.11.006. Epub 2015 Jan 23.


Children spend a lot of time watching television on its many platforms: directly, online, and via videos and DVDs. Many researchers are concerned that some types of television content appear to negatively influence children's executive function. Because (1) executive function predicts key developmental outcomes, (2) executive function appears to be influenced by some television content, and (3) American children watch large quantities of television (including the content of concern), the issues discussed here comprise a crucial public health issue. Further research is needed to reveal exactly what television content is implicated, what underlies television's effect on executive function, how long the effect lasts, and who is affected.

Keywords: Cognitive development; Executive function; Media; Preschooler; Television.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arousal
  • Attention
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Executive Function*
  • Humans
  • Television*