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Effect of Television Exposure on Attention and Language in Preschool Children



To evaluate the effects of television (TV) on language and attention in preschool children.


There are contradictory reports of the effects of TV watching on children language, cognition, and attention. No research has been conducted to study these effects on Arabic-speaking children.

Patients and methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted on parents of preschool children with delayed language development aged 1.5–6 years recruited from the Phoniatric Unit in Sohag University Hospital. A total of 112 parents are asked if their children are watching TV, average duration of daily TV watching, type of programs, and if there is interaction during the day. All data are correlated with children language and attention.


There is a strong negative correlation between receptive and expressive language age and inattention (r=–0.8) and the duration of TV watching (r=–0.6). This indicates that the poorer the inattention and the longer TV watching, the more unfavorable the results of receptive and expressive language age. There is a significant difference between certain types of song channels and inattention (P=0.03).


The quality of televised programs that promote language learning for preschool children should be encouraged in the Arabic-speaking society. Moreover, the duration of watching TV should be decreased to allow proper interaction of children with their parents and caregivers. Educating parents and increasing their awareness of the adverse effects of TV on their child’s development, cognition, language, and attention should be pursued and addressed.


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Correspondence to Eman Mostafa MD, PhD.

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Mostafa, E. Effect of Television Exposure on Attention and Language in Preschool Children. Egypt J Otolaryngol 35, 327–331 (2019).

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  • delayed language development
  • preschool children
  • television