Children who spend seven hours or more a day on screens are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety than those who only use screens for one hour a day, according to a new study published in the Preventive Medicine Reports magazine.
This is disturbing given the fact that so many children now spend so much time staring at devices all day long. The study for the study came from more than 40,000 children aged 2 to 17 years old and was collected as part of the National Health Care Survey of the Census Bureau 2016. The good news is that younger children usually do not have seven or more hours Spend on screens every day. But about 20% of 14-to-17-year-olds do that and many reports suggest that teenagers check their feeds of social media almost constantly, as Pew Research Center has pointed out.
And if you think the relationship between screen time and depression and anxiety is frightening, the study also found that young people who spent seven hours or more per day on screens (not including schoolwork) were more easily distracted, less emotionally stable, and more troubled. complete tasks and make friends. Interestingly, adolescents seemed to have more problems than younger children due to heavy screen use.
"At first I was surprised that the associations were larger for adolescents than for younger children," said Jean Twenge, the lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, Time. "However, teenagers spend more time on their phones and on social media, and we know from other research that these activities are more closely related to low well-being than watching TV and video, which is most of the screen time. of younger children. "
These latest research tracks follow a 2017 study, published by the journal Clinical Psychological Science. That study of 5,000 North American teenagers found a strong link between the spread of smartphones and mental mental illness among teenagers.