Aim: To identify impact of television viewing on language development.
Methods: The case-control study included 56 new patients with language delay and 110 normal children, aged 15–48 months. Language delay was diagnosed by reviewing language milestones and Denver-II. Television viewing variables and child/parental characteristics between both groups were interviewed. The data were analyzed by ANOVA and chi-square test. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from multivariate logistic regression model.
Results: Forty-six boys and 10 girls; mean [±SD] age, 2.11 ± 0.47 years of the case group and 59 boys and 51 girls; mean [±SD] age, 2.23 ± 0.80 years of the control group were enrolled. Children who had language delay usually started watching television earlier at age 7.22 ± 5.52 months vs. 11.92 ± 5.86 months, p-value < 0.001 and also spent more time watching television than normal children (3.05 ± 1.90 h/day vs. 1.85 ± 1.18 h/day; p-value < 0.001). Children who started watching television at <12 months of age and watched television >2 h/day were approximately six times more likely to have language delays.
Conclusions: There is a relationship between early onset and high frequency of TV viewing and language delay.