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"Background TV, as an ever-changing audiovisual distractor, disrupts children's efforts to sustain attention to ongoing play behaviors," according to Marie Evans Schmidt, who is now a research associate at the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston and is the lead author of the study. "Background TV is potentially a chronic environmental risk factor affecting most American children. Parents should limit their young children's exposure to background television."
The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.