It appears I may be doomed to a life of crime.
While I’ve been a mostly law-abiding citizen for most of my life, it’s only a matter of time before I turn into a hardened criminal, thanks to a childhood spent in the care of a loving mother, a dedicated father, Fred Penner, Count Duckula and the cast of Saved By The Bell.
This, according to a new study out of the University of Otago.
The research, published in the US journal “Pediatrics” this week, found a strong correlation between childhood exposure to television and anti-social behaviour in young adults.
“The risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by about 30 percent with every hour that children spent watching television on an average weeknight,” co-author Bob Hancox said.
The study also found excessive TV viewing was linked to aggressive personality traits and an increased tendency to experience negative emotions.
That’s true whether you’re dumb, smart, rich or poor.
And it doesn’t matter if you spend your childhood with the non-violence espousing Care Bears or the karate-chopping Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“It is plausible that excessive television viewing contributes to anti-social behaviour in ways unrelated to violent content,” it said.
“These mechanisms could include reduced social interaction with peers and parents, poorer educational achievement, and increased risk of unemployment.”
The study recommends limiting kids to to two hours of TV a day.
But it’s too late for me. I’m already doomed. I just hope I get to do cool crime, like sexy, elaborate bank heists, or maybe some high-level hacking.