As the parent of a middle schooler, you should be aware that too much TV may harm your preteen. Researchers agree that preteens should watch no more than two hours of television a day. And with summer right around the corner, now is a great time to set limits on screen time.

Here are specifics from a recent study, published in a medical journal about child and teen health. The doctors who published the study researched a group of teens for many years. The study began when the teens were 14 and ended when they were adults in their mid-30’s.

The doctors found that:
  • Teens who watched TV for three hours or more each day were more likely to develop learning and attention problems.
  • Teen problems included not doing homework, not liking school, being bored in school and getting poor grades.
  • Video games have a similar effect as TV.
  • Some teens dropped out of high school. Others finished but did not go on to other education. This was not true of every teen in the study.
  • It didn’t matter whether the teens grew up in rich, poor or middle class families. Watching a lot of TV put teens from all of these types of families at risk for learning and attention problems. Source: Jeffrey G. Johnson, PhD. and others, ”Extensive Television Viewing and the Development of Attention and Learning Difficulties During Adolescence,” Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Reprint permission from Copyright (c) 2008 The Paren