Kid's Early TV = Poor Attention Later

Medical Author: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Medical Editor: Frederick Hecht, MD. FAAP, FACMG

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) refers to a family of related chronic neurobiological disorders that interfere with an individual's capacity to regulate activity level (hyperactivity), inhibit behavior (impulsivity), and attend to tasks (inattention) in developmentally appropriate ways. The core symptoms of ADHD include:

  • an inability to sustain attention and concentration,
  • developmentally inappropriate levels of activity,
  • distractibility, and
  • impulsivity.

Children with ADHD have functional impairment across multiple settings including home, school, and peer relationships. ADHD has also been shown to have long-term adverse effects on academic performance, vocational success, and social-emotional development. Children with ADHD experience an inability to sit still and pay attention in class and the negative consequences of such behavior. They also experience peer rejection and engage in a broad array of disruptive behaviors. Their academic and social difficulties have far-reaching and long-term consequences. These children have higher injury rates. As they grow older, children with untreated ADHD, in combination with conduct disorders, experience drug abuse, antisocial behavior, and injuries of all sorts. For many individuals, the impact of ADHD continues into adulthood.