Digital media addiction linked to psychiatric problems in teens – study 

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that children addicted to digital devices were more likely to be prone to psychiatric problems.

According to the study, teens who are heavy users of digital devices are twice as likely as infrequent users to show symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The links are stable as researchers tracked nearly 2,600 teenagers in two years.

ADHD is described as a brain disorder with symptoms that include a pattern of inattention, hyperactive behavior and impulsiveness that interferes with functioning or development.

The researchers examined the mental consequences of a new generation of digital diversions, including social media, streaming video, text messaging, music downloads and online chatrooms, rather than mere use of TV or video games in previous research.

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“New mobile technologies can provide fast, high-intensity stimulation accessible all day, which has increased digital media exposure far beyond what’s been studied before,” said Adam Leventhal, professor of preventive medicine and psychology at University of Southern California.

A recent survey by non-profit Common Sense Media showed teens spent over one-third of their day, nearly nine hours, using online media.

A separate survey published in June by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 43 per cent of high school students used digital media.

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