Effects of television viewing on preschoolers-a cross sectional Indian population-based study


  • Vipulkumar V. Gandhi Department of Pediatrics, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0926-1915
  • Jitendra S. Oswal Department of Pediatrics, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India




Behavior, Habits, Preschool age children, Excessive television viewing


Background: Television (TV) viewing creates tremendous influence on daily life; hence concerns have been raised on viewers, especially in preschool age group children. An existing literature has documented significant correlation between TV viewing and various behavior related problems among the other age groups. This study attempted to assess TV viewing habits in preschool children.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out over a period of 2 years at the tertiary health care center and a total of 500 children between 2 to 5 years of age, visiting the center, were included. Pre-validated 32 item questionnaire was used to collect data regarding television viewing habits from parents/guardians. TV viewing >2 hours was considered as excessive as per American academy of pediatrics (AAP) recommendation. Data analysis was done in SPSS version 20 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) and statistical differences were computed by ‘chi-square test’ and ‘paired t test’.

Results: There was statistically significant association between TV viewing and subject’s behavior. ‘Becoming angry on switching off TV’ was the most protuberant behaviour; followed by ‘imitating TV characters’ among the subjects.  In addition to these effects on food habits, sleep pattern and play activity were also noted with excessive TV viewing group.

Conclusions: The current study reported a negative influence of TV viewing on behavior, sleep patterns, food habits and play activities of preschool age children. Parents should implement multipronged strategy like scheduling TV watching duration, limiting child’s total screen time, supervising and guiding child’s TV viewing activities to make better use of television for their children. 

Author Biographies

Vipulkumar V. Gandhi, Department of Pediatrics, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Senior resident, Pediatrics Department

Jitendra S. Oswal, Department of Pediatrics, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Professor and unit head, Department of Pediatircs


Ahluwalia AK, Singh R. TV Viewing Habits among Urban Children. IUP J Marketing Management. 2011;10(1):45-62.

Cespedes E, Gillman MW, Kleinman K, Sheryl LRS, Redline S, Taveras E. Television Viewing, Bedroom Television and Sleep Duration from Infancy to Mid-Childhood. Paediatr. 2014;133(5):1163-71.

Mukherjee SB, Gupta Y, Aneja S. Study of television viewing habits in children. Indian J Pediatr. 2014;81(11):1221-4.

Tansriratanawong S, Louthrenoo O, Chonchaiya W, Charnsil C. Screen viewing time and externalising problems in pre-school children in Northern Thailand. J Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2017;29(3):245-52.

Mittal M. Television Viewing and Perception of Parental Concern among Urban Indian children. Management Labour Studies. 2011;36(1):46.

Owens J, Maxim R, McGuinn M, Nobile C, Msall M, Alario A. Television Viewing Habits and Sleep Disturbance in School Children. Paediatr. 1999;104(3):27-32.

Ahn Y, Williamson AA, Seo HJ, Sadeh A, Mindell JA. Sleep Patterns among South Korean Infants and Toddlers: Global Comparison. J Korean Med Sci. 2016;31(2):261-9.

Domingues-Montanari S. Clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children. J Paediatr Child Health. 2017;53(4):333-38.

Council on Communication and Media. Policy statement on media education. Paediatri. 2010;;126(5):1012.

Coyne SM, Stockdale L, Linder JR, Nelson DA, Collier KM, Essig LW. Pow! Boom! Kablam! Effects of Viewing Superhero Programs on Aggressive, Prosocial, and Defending Behaviours in Preschool Children. J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2017;45(8):1523-35.

Robertson LA, McAnally HM, Hancox RJ. Childhood and adolescent television viewing and antisocial behaviour in early adulthood. Paediatri. 2013;131(3):439-46.

Bushman BJ, Huesmann LR. Short-term and long-term effects of violent media on aggression in children and adults. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med.2006;160(3): 348-52.

Ravikiran SR, Baliga BS, Jain A, Kotian MS. Factors influencing the television viewing practices of Indian children. Indian J Pediatr. 2014;81(2):114-9.

Committee on Public Education. Children, Adolescents and Television. Paediatr. 2001;107(2):423-6.

Gupta RK, Saini DP, Acharya U, Miglani N. Impact of television on children. Indian J Pediatr. 1994;61:153-9.






Original Research Articles