Comparing Television Use and Reading in Children With ADHD and Non-Referred Children Across Two Age Groups


There has been abundant speculation, but very little research, concerning the role of television in the lives of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study compared the use of television and other media in samples of children with ADHD and nonreferred children. Children with ADHD were reported to watch more television, a difference partially accounted for by demographic and environmental characteristics. Children with ADHD were also reported to enjoy television more and have greater involvement in television-related activities, and to enjoy reading less and be less involved in reading-related activities. However, there were no diagnostic group differences in reports of weekly reading, and weekly reading was unrelated to television viewing in children with ADHD. Results suggest a complex relation between television viewing and ADHD not recognized in previous research and popular commentary, and suggest that research on children with ADHD's television use should consider environmental and developmental contexts.

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