SEATTLE (February 18, 2013)--A new study finds that teaching parents to switch channels from violent shows to educational TV programs can improve preschoolers' behavior, even without getting the toddlers to watch less.
The results were modest and faded over time, but the study authors and other doctors say they may hold promise for finding ways to help young children avoid aggressive, violent behavior.
The research involving 565 parents was published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics.
The parents periodically filled out TV-watching diaries and questionnaires measuring their children’s behavior.
Half were coached for six months on getting their 3-to-5-year-old kids to watch such shows as "Sesame Street" and "Dora the Explorer" rather than more violent programs such as "Power Rangers."
Low-income boys appeared to derive the most short-term benefit.