UNITED STATES. Children with a television in their bedroom score "significantly lower" in standardised tests than their peers without a set, according to a new study of eight-year-olds.
The report also found that children with home computers score higher on all tests than those without access.
The authors of the report found that children with a bedroom TV but without home computer access had the lowest scores. Conversely, those with home computer access but no bedroom TV had the highest scores.
Using statistical models that controlled for parents' educational level, student's sex, media use, reading and homework undertaken, researchers found large differences in predicted test scores.
"The predicted maths scores range from 41 to 58, showing a 17-point difference, if a child's household media environment is taken into consideration," they said.
The research was published in the archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, a journal produced by the American Medical Association. The researchers examined students' third-grade test scores on the Stanford Achievement Test (mathematics, reading and language arts sections) in the spring of 2000 and compared these with data on TV and computer use.
The sample of 348 students in six elementary schools was ethnically diverse and evenly divided between sexes.
Seventy-one per cent of the children in the study had a TV set in their own bedroom and 71 per cent had access to a home computer.