BOSTON, MA (CBS) – Badly-behaved kids watch more television.

That’s what a new study published in the journal Pediatrics is claiming.

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Researchers say they studied 7,450 children in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort whose parents filled out the Infant Toddler Symptom Checklist (ITSC), “a validated scale of self-regulation,” when those toddlers were nine months and two years old.

The authors describe self-regulation difficulties as problems with self-soothing, sleep, emotional regulation and attention.

“We hypothesized that children with poor self-regulation would consume more media, possibly as a parent coping strategy,” the scientists say.

What they found is that those infants with behavior issues watched .23 hours more television per day at age 2 than those who didn’t have self-regulation issues. And children rated as having “persistent self-regulation problems” were even more likely to consume media.

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“Early childhood self-regulation problems are associated with mildly increased media exposure, even after controlling for important confounding variables,” researchers say.

What’s not clear, though, is whether or not the children’s issues were caused by television, or whether their parents put them in front of the TV as a distraction because they were difficult.

Regardless, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under two have no exposure to television, as “children learn best by interacting with people, not TV screens.”

For more info on the study, click here.

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