Frequent Use Of Digital Media Linked To ADHD Symptoms In Adolescents, Says Study

Frequent use of digital media is associated with the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms during adolescence, finds a new study conducted by a team of researchers of the University of Southern California.

The study enrolled students, aged 15- and 16-year-olds, and they were surveyed at baseline, and followed for 6, 12, 18, and 24 months later – i.e., from September 2014 (10th grade) to December 2016 (12th grade).

The students self-reported the frequency of their usage of 14 popular digital media platforms, such as social media, music downloads, streaming video, text messaging, and online chatrooms, among others, and self-rated the frequency of 18 ADHD symptoms in the 6 months preceding the survey.

At the end of the study period, the researchers found that 9.5% of the 114 students who used 7 digital media platforms frequently and 10.5% of the students who used all 14 platforms frequently developed symptoms of ADHD. However, of the 495 students who did not use digital media frequently, only 4.6% showed ADHD symptoms.

Based on the study results, the researchers have concluded that there is a statistically significant but modest association between higher frequency of digital media use and subsequent symptoms of ADHD. However, the study doesn’t confirm if frequent use of digital media causes ADHD.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. (Source: CDC).

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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