Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Does TV cause ADHD?

Postman has made very clear that television is full of negative side effects. However, have you thought about television having a positive correlation with ADHD? The article from the website ADDitude- Living Well with Attention Deficit strongly believes in this correlation. The article says, " The more television a child watches between the ages of 1 and 3, the greater his or her likelihood of developing attention problems by age 7." Maybe Postman was on to something when he said that our attention span are shorter due to television.  The article also says, "The rapidly moving images on TV and in video games may rewire the brains of very young children, making it difficult for them to focus on slower tasks that require more thought." This sounds vaguely familiar to Postman's argument about commercials in his  "Now.. This" chapter. 

What do you guys think? Is there really a correlation between TV and ADHD? 



  1. This is a really good point. I definitely think that tv could have a negative effect on kids and cause ADHD.

    I feel like this culture is so based on fast information that it's something kids could be influenced by at a very young age now. People skip between channels during commercial breaks, and use second screens (whether cell phones or tablets) while watching tv. They can interact by texting others, tweeting about the show, etc but then they really aren't as focused on the show.

    Shows also come in few minute chunks at a time, then a commercial break. People don't usually just sit there during that time. They are up and doing other things...distracted from the show.

    It reminds me of that video we watched in class (the ones with the drawings). I think kids are given so much distraction through tv, games, online means, that it's no wonder they have trouble focusing in traditional school.

  2. This was a confusing article to read, because they seem, at the beginning, to be setting out to make the point that TV can cause ADHD, but then, just when they have you pegged, they admit that the study was flawed, and there's really no evidence to support that television causes ADHD. Then, at the end, they go right back to saying, well, it really might cause ADHD. We might be onto something here, leaving the reader right back where he/she was after reading just the title. Talk about ADHD.

    Anyways, I agree that TV very well might be a cause of ADHD. Like Melanie mentioned, people are using multiple screens now, while watching television, so fast moving pictures and commercial breaks aren't even the worst of it anymore. There are simply too many distractions available to us these days, and I feel like we pass them down to our children without much thought of their effects. Our society has become, on the surface, a hedonistic one, or maybe we always have been, and that is the reason that such fast paced, pleasure seeking tools such as certain TV shows, video games, etc. were created in the first place. I just think it's something we need to keep an eye on, and much more than we are currently.

  3. Perhaps there is a correlation between children watching TV and increased incidents of ADD/ADHD, but this article does not give convincing evidence of it. The article itself discredits the study it sites, and one must remember that correlation in no way means causation. There are a wide variety of factors that are not accounted for, as the article states. I think that increased watching of television in combination with the myriad of other distractions could be at fault for increased cases of ADD, but to blame a single mode of communication for a complex set of medical conditions based on a single flawed study would be problematic. However, I do appreciate the article addressing the flaws of the study and hope to see more scientific studies in the future.

  4. The article didn't really tell us anything. They're saying that TV might cause ADHD, so we should limit TV time for young kids. I don't disagree with that suggestion; I could think of better things for you to do with kids (e.g. read a book, play games, do some crafts).

    Because the cause of ADHD is unknown, doctors and researchers are scrambling to find any kind of trend or relationship that helps point to a cause. While I'm not quite convinced that TV can cause ADHD, I will agree that it doesn't help.

    I came across an article on WebMD that discusses the implications of TV for kids, and I thought it was interesting that ADHD wasn't mentioned at all. Of course, this is just one article, but I think the overall consensus is that TV is no substitute for a teacher or babysitter.

  5. I have very little knowledge of science and the healthcare industry so I'm not a credible source for making a judgement about television and ADHD. However, I do agree with Postman that television has shortened our attention spans, and it makes sense to me that some experts are correlating television viewing and ADHD. Ever since we've been reading Postman I've been thinking about the possible ADHD correlation, and I recommend for those that are interested in the topic to watch a children's cartoon program and count the cuts that occur in a typical 5 minute time frame. It is a really jarring experience. The cuts are quick and very frequent, a process that forces the image to drastically change many times. And because a one-year-old cannot comprehend the images and story, they are left watching flashing colors. I do not know if this process causes ADHD, but I do know that their are healthier ways to entertain a child than with flashing images.

  6. I've thought for a while that television causes ADHD because I was one of the kids that teachers thought should be tested when I was younger and at the time my parents thought that might be one of the causes. I think ADHD is diagnosed to early and too often, but that's a different argument.

    This does fit in really well to what Postman says. The way television shows are run teaches children to expect that quick change of subject. It's all action all the time and hardly any tv programs are more than an hour or two. I find that I can't even pay attention to a whole tv show sometimes as soon as its on commercial I flip channels and I end up watching two different shows.

  7. I was one of the few kids to spend large amounts of time playing Nintendo and watching Cartoon Network that managed to avoid catching the dreaded ADD "bug." I still play games and watch cartoons to this day, but as I was growing up, I also enjoyed reading novels, which is something that takes quite a bit of attention to accomplish. I've never had any sort of difficulty focusing on anything, so long as it interests me to some degree.

  8. I don't think TV could possibly cause ADD I watch a lot of TV and I don't seem to have a problem I like going to the zoo with my friends and I are going to the zoo this weekend I wonder what I'm going to eat for dinner tonight I should call my parents I don't think I checked the mail today I better go to the store tomorrow because I'm running out of hey I just saw a squirrel!