Time.com features research by CPC Fellows Thompson, Adair, and Bentley: Fussy infants spend more time in front of the TV

Jan 7, 2013

A recent study examined the amount of time infants were exposed to television in the first 18 months of life and identified some specific predictors that can decrease or increase TV exposure. The research was conducted by Carolina Population Center Faculty Fellows Amanda L. Thompson, Linda S. Adair, and Margaret E. Bentley.

The Time.com story reports:

In the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers analyzed data from 217 African-American mother and infant pairs from the Infant Care and Risk of Obesity Study. At 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months after birth, the infants' mothers reported on their babies' temperament-how fussy or complacent they were-as well as their own TV viewing habits, including how long the TV was on during the day and how often they fed their babies while watching TV.

"In the last decade or so there has been a lot of attention paid to parenting style and care giving. One component has to do with feeding and focus placed on the feeding environment," says Margaret E. Bentley, Associate Dean of Global Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the principal investigator of the study. "Half of the time, infants are being fed with the television on, which is a feeding strategy we do not recommend."

"It is important to understand the factors contributing to high television exposure in early infancy because the high levels of television exposure we documented persist through early childhood when, as other studies have shown, they are associated with reduced physical activity, increased snack food intake, and developmental delays in language acquisition," says the study's lead author Amanda Thompson.

Read the full story:

Too Much TV: Fussy Infants Spend More Time In Front of The Tube
Reported by Alexandra Sifferlin, Jan. 07, 2013

Journal article citation:

Thompson, Amanda L., Linda S. Adair, and Margaret E. Bentley. (Forthcoming.) Maternal Characteristics and Perception of Temperament Associated with Infant TV Exposure. Pediatrics.

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