A study of elementary school students found that children who had television sets in their bedrooms scored significantly lower on school achievement tests than children without TVs in their bedrooms. Having a computer in the home was associated with higher test scores, according to the same study, which was conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Stanford University. The study is published in the July 4, 2005, edition of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.“In this study, we found that the household media environment was related to a child's academic achievement,” said Dina Borzekowski, EdD, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Among these third graders, we saw that even when controlling for the parent's education level, the child's gender and the amount of media used per week, those who had bedroom TV sets scored around 8 points lower on math and language arts tests and 7 points lower on reading tests. A home computer showed the opposite relationship—children with access to a home computer had scores that were around 6 points higher on the math and the language arts test and 4 points higher on the reading test, controlling for the same variables.”
The study followed a diverse group of third-grade students from six schools in northern California. During the course of a school year, nearly 400 students and their parents were asked to report on the types of media available in the home, including television, videotapes, computers and video games, as well as how often the child used them. The children's math, reading and language arts skills were tested twice over the year using the Stanford Achievement Test.
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