Too much TV linked to bullying risks

Too much TV linked to bullying risks

Remember sprawling in front of the TV to watch Saturday morning cartoons or cowboy movies? We’ve come a long way since then with HD-TV, DVDs and video games. Regardless of the technology, there have been many studies that say too much TV watching can lead to behavior problems, lack of sleep and poor health. A new study suggests that a TV lifestyle can affect children’s social skills in a way that makes them more vulnerable to bullying.

According to the study published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, as the number of hours of TV watching increased, so did the risk of being victimized by classmates in middle school.

Specifically, researchers found that for each additional hour of TV children watched, there was an increase of 11 percent in the amount of bullying they experienced in middle school.

One psychologist interviewed about this study by a contributor to NBC’s suggests that getting children active in other activities can help parents mitigate negative effects of too much TV and boost their social skills. In addition, when kids get to be good at something, it builds their confidence, “and that is an enormous protection,” the psychologist added.

While Scouting may not be the ultimate solution to staving off bullying, this psychologist’s responses to the study serve as an endorsement of what we do for young people every day. We help kids build new adventures that they can’t find anywhere else and keep them active. We help build confidence as our Scouts learn new skills and advance through our ranks. And importantly, through our leadership programs, our Scouts learn the social skills needed to help prepare them for life’s challenges.

Frequent readers of Chief’s Corner may note that this is the third blog addressing bullying that I’ve penned this summer. Aside from the fact that new research on young people is always on my radar, protecting our young people from bullying is important for Scouting. New information that can keep our young people safe is always welcome, and I think this blog provides a great platform for sharing the latest studies about bullying and related recommendations as they come along.

I know you agree that as parents and leaders, we are responsible for giving our young people the knowledge and social skills necessary to not only enjoy their younger years, but to grow to be confident adults and strong contributors to their families and communities. Let’s all keep that top of mind as we set our course this fall for a new school year and introducing more young people to Scouting.

Thanks, Wayne


Nathan Johnson

As a member of the Communications team at Boy Scouts of America, Nathan Johnson enjoys finding and sharing the stories that inform, inspire, and delight the Scouting family.


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Too much TV linked to bullying risks
Too much TV linked to bullying risks
Too much TV linked to bullying risks