July 6, 2010
While researchers are still divided on the issue, the findings jibe with most earlier work on the effects of television watching in kids, they said.
"What we don't know at this point is why TV and video games really would cause attention problems," said Douglas A. Gentile, who worked on the study.
Gentile, who runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University in Ames, added that too much screen time had also been linked to increased aggression and, perhaps less surprisingly, expanding waistlines.
He said the new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, was the first to follow over time how video games may impact kids' concentration skills.
"There are parents out there who are doing the best they can, but are working multiple jobs and can't afford child care," said Mulsow, of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. "What worries me is that those parents will think they cause their children to have ADHD. I don't think that's the case, and I don't think those parents should feel bad."