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New study shows bad behavior linked to kids watching too much TV

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

(WKTV) - A new study in the Journal Pediatrics finds that children who watch too much TV are more aggressive and show anti-social behavior. A local therapist says the study validates what many clinicians, educators and parents have known all along, that kids who spend more time watching TV are spending less time forming the healthy relationships they need and often emulate what they're watching instead.

"They're missing out on all the milestones they need to develop good character, good decision making, socialization, they lack in many of those areas and really lack in the communication development," said Michael Stalteri a therapist who specializes in child and adolescence in Herkimer.

Stalteri says he's concerned for many of his clients developing an obsession with certain TV and video games, especially violent ones.

"People tend to be more extreme in their behaviors," said Stalteri. "And if kids are watching what they're saying to themselves is, 'That really how people are? Is that really ok?'"

He says young children's brains have not yet developed in all areas, causing them to process things differently than adults. Therefore, if they watch too much TV, they can start feeling that what they're watching is okay, try to emulate it, or form a relationship with what's on the screen instead of adults or other kids in their lifes.

"When they develop an obsession or compulsion that relationship piece with a certain violent video game or TV show, you really start to see some changes in their behavior that are quite significant," said Stalteri.

He recommends parents not just trusting movie, show or video game ratings but previewing everything their children are watching themselves and determining if it's appropriate.

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