Using a birth cohort, this study aimed to verify whether televiewing
at 29 months, a common early childhood pastime, is prospectively associated with self-reported victimization
at age 12.
Participants are 991 girls and 1006 boys from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development
. The main predictor comprised parent-reported daily televiewing
by their children
at 29 months. In the sixth grade, children
reported how often they experienced victimization
in the past year. The authors conducted multivariate linear regression, in which child self-reports of victimization
were linearly regressed on early televiewing
and potential confounders.
Every SD unit increase (0.88 hours) in daily televiewing
at 29 months predicted an 11% SD unit increase in self-reported peer victimization
by sixth grade classmates
= .031, p
< .001, 95% confidence interval = 0.014–0.042). This relationship was adjusted for child characteristics (gender, preexisting externalizing behaviors, baseline cognitive abilities, and televiewing
at age 12) and family characteristics (family configuration, income, and functioning, and maternal education).
time at 29 months was associated with a subsequent increased risk of victimization
at the end of sixth grade, a period which represents a critical developmental transition to middle school. Youth who experience peer victimization
are at an increased risk of long-term mental health issues, such as depression, underachievement, and low self-esteem. This prospective association, across a 10-year period, suggests the need for better parental awareness, acknowledgement, and compliance with existing recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics.