Why do digital media favor ADHD?
Researchers are now investigating how time spent with digital media affects the likelihood of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The results found could be surprising or even frightening for some people.
In their current research, the University of Southern California scientists found that there is a direct link between the time spent in front of computer or smartphone screens and the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal of the American Medical Association "JAMA".
More than 2,500 participants were examined
The current two-year study examined a group of more than 2,500 students from Los Angeles. Experts explain that the test subjects' attention in particular was affected by the use of digital media. Attention waned throughout the experiment, the more time participants spent on digital media platforms. Although the use of digital media does not definitely cause ADHD, the use appears to induce symptoms that would warrant such a diagnosis or pharmaceutical treatment, the doctors say.
Does ADHD start in childhood?
ADHD has long been thought to begin in the early stages of child development. But the exact circumstances, whether biological or environmental, are still controversial among mental health professionals. However, the current study focused on new symptoms that did not exist at the start of the study, so a connection can be assumed to be likely, explains study author Adam Leventhal from the University of Southern California.
Happier without digital media?
Other studies that involve so-called digital engagement suggested an inverse relationship to satisfaction. If the use of digital media fails for those affected, these people often feel much happier and happier, the doctors say.
Were there any restrictions in the study?
The participants were teenagers aged 15 and 16 years, who were medically monitored over a period of two years. During the study, the test subjects were asked about their frequency of online activities and the occurrence of 18 different symptoms for ADHD. However, the experts conceded that the subjects had symptoms of ADHD from the beginning, but these were caused by other factors. However, the use of digital media exacerbated these symptoms. (as)