Author(s): Landhuis CE, Perry DK, Hancox RJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the long-term association between childhood television viewing and adult unemployment, and if this association is mediated by educational achievement. METHOD: Study members were a general-population birth cohort of 1037 participants born in New Zealand in 1972/1973. Hours of weekday television viewing were reported at ages 5-15. Since age 18, unemployment was assessed retrospectively using life-history calendars to age 32. Information on educational qualifications was collected at age 32. RESULTS: Childhood and adolescent television viewing predicted adult unemployment. This association was significant for male Study members only (β=0.20, p<0.0001). The association for male Study members remained after further controlling for socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, and early indications of behaviour problems (p<0.0007). The association was only partially mediated by educational achievement and television viewing remained a predictor of unemployment after adjusting for this (p=0.0035). By logistic regression, each additional hour of daily television viewing was associated with an increased likelihood of spending at least 6 months in unemployment between ages 18 and 32 years (OR=1.36, 95\%, CI=1.06, 1.76, p=0.0157). CONCLUSION: Childhood and adolescent television viewing may have long-lasting consequences for adult unemployment for boys. This association is only partially explained by the association between television viewing and educational achievement. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Prev Med
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy