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Author: Owens, Judith; Maxim, Rolanda; McGuinn, Melissa; Nobile, Chantelle; Msall, Michael; Alario, Anthony
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Year: 1999
Article Title: Television-viewing habits and sleep disturbance in school children
Journal: Pediatrics
Volume: 104
Edition: 3 (Part 1 of 3)
Issue: 104
Pages: electronic pg: e27
ISBN/ISSN: 1120-7507
Source of Funding: Funding Source Not Stated in Paper
Study Design: Correlational Study
Publication Type: Abstract
Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs), Preschool Age (2-5 yrs), School Age (6-12 yrs)
Abstract: Objective : To determine the relationship between children's television viewing habits and negative sleep patterns.

Design: Correlation study of television viewing habits and sleep patterns of children. Data collected from parent questionnaires on sleep patterns (CSHQ) and television viewing (CTVQ), and from teacher questionnaires on daytime sleepiness (TQ). Also collected data on socio-economic status using Hollingshead Socioeconomic Status (SES) assessment.

Subjects and Setting: Included children aged 4 through 10, enrolled in kindergarten through fourth grade in three public elementary schools in a predominantly white, middle-income, English-speaking suburban school district in southeastern New England. 1099 subjects mailed questionnaires, 495 responded (mean age = 91.44 months). Remaining subjects did not return questionnaire, refused, moved, or were excluded for mental health reasons. 452 questionnaires completed by 46 teachers from three elementary schools.

Outcome Measures : Two sleep related measures used. CSHQ: 45-item parent sleep pattern questionnaire (bedtime behavior, duration of rest, anxiety, behavior during sleep, daytime sleepiness, whether there is a sleep problem, etc.) TQ: 10-item teacher's survey on child's behavior (difficulty staying awake, yawning, complaining about sleep, etc.) One measure of television-viewing habits, CTVQ, used: (amount of television viewed, television bedtime routines, television in child's bedroom, occurrence of nightmares with TV shows, parental television use, etc.

Results : Television viewed prior to bedtime, particularly if located in the child's room, and increased amounts of television viewed in general had most effect on sleep disturbances. Most common sleep disturbances included bedtime resistance, inability to fall asleep, anxiety around sleep, and less amounts of sleep. Greater amounts of television viewing were associated significantly with difficulty getting to bed and staying asleep.

Conclusion : Television viewing habits potentially affect children's sleep patterns negatively, particularly those with televisions in their bedrooms. Physicians should be aware of these factors when looking into children's sleep disturbances. Center on Media and Child Health
Keywords: Anxiety
Media Diet
Parents and Parenting
Physician's Role
Recreation and Leisure
Socioeconomic Differences
Uses and Gratifications



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