EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Positive and Negative Mental Health Consequences of Early Childhood Television Watching

Michael Waldman (), Sean Nicholson and Nodir Adilov

No 17786, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: An extensive literature in medicine investigates the health consequences of early childhood television watching. However, this literature does not address the issue of reverse causation, i.e., does early childhood television watching cause specific health outcomes or do children more likely to have these health outcomes watch more television? This paper uses a natural experiment to investigate the health consequences of early childhood television watching and so is not subject to questions concerning reverse causation. Specifically, we use repeated cross-sectional data from 1972 through 1992 on county-level mental retardation rates, county-level autism rates, and county-level children's cable-television subscription rates to investigate how early childhood television watching affects the prevalence of mental retardation and autism. We find a strong negative correlation between average county-level cable subscription rates when a birth cohort is below three and subsequent mental retardation diagnosis rates, but a strong positive correlation between the same cable subscription rates and subsequent autism diagnosis rates. Our results thus suggest that early childhood television watching has important positive and negative health consequences.

JEL-codes: I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem and nep-hea
Date: 2012-01
Note: HC HE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w17786.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17786

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w17786

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-12-04
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17786