Original Article

Television-viewing Habits in a Preschool Age Clinical Population with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Clinical Groups


  • Abdurrahman Cahid ÖRENGÜL
  • Vahdet GÖRMEZ

Received Date: 19.09.2016 Accepted Date: 27.02.2017 Bezmialem Science 2018;6(2):94-99


We aimed to compare the television (TV)-viewing habits in a clinical sample of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and those diagnosed with language delay, disruptive behavior disorders, and depression/anxiety and those who had no clinical diagnosis (no dx).


The main outcome measures involved the onset and frequency of TV viewing and the content (type of programs) and context (co-viewing) of viewing habits. A comprehensive psychiatric assessment, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), which is a clinician rated psychometric tool, and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community (ABC), which is a parent rated questionnaire, were used for diagnostic evaluation.


In a total of 148 preschool children (range=10–60 months; mean=42.02, SD=10.23), the onset of TV viewing before the age of 12 months differed significantly among the groups (p=0.038). The ASD group had the highest percentage of children who started watching TV before 12 months (56.7%) and of those viewing adult (non child) programs (87.5%). The content of viewing (watching adult programs) and duration of playtime with siblings significantly differed between the groups (p=0.003).


Children with ASD have an earlier onset of TV viewing and watch more adult programs. Further research is required to examine the relationship between early exposure to screens and psychiatric diagnoses, particularly in those with impairment in social interactions and language.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, children, preschool, television, language delay