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  • 1 Departments of Preventive Medicine and Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 2 School of Communication, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
  • 3 FAAHB, FAPA, Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Soto Street Building, 2001 North Soto Street, Room 302A, Los Angeles, CA, 90033, USA
Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

The most popular recreational pastime in the U.S. is television viewing. Some researchers have claimed that television may be addictive. We provide a review of the definition, etiology, prevention and treatment of the apparent phenomenon of television addiction.

Methods

Selective review.

Results

We provide a description of television (TV) addiction, including its negative consequences, assessment and potential etiology, considering neurobiological, cognitive and social/cultural factors. Next, we provide information on its prevention and treatment.

Discussion and conclusions

We suggest that television addiction may function similarly to substance abuse disorders but a great deal more research is needed.

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