Adolescents who engage in various digital media activities several times a day face increased risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, suggests a longitudinal study in JAMA.
Nearly 2600 high school sophomores in Los Angeles without ADHD symptoms at baseline completed ADHD symptom assessments every 6 months for 24 months. They also reported their use of 14 different digital media activities (e.g., checking social media sites, playing video games alone, video chatting).
Roughly 6% of participants reported ADHD symptoms during any follow-up assessment. For every media activity that a participant engaged in several times a day, the odds of developing ADHD symptoms increased by 10%. In particular, ADHD symptoms developed in 5% of teens with no high-frequency media activity, but in nearly 10% of those with seven high-frequency media activities.
Based on this study, Dr. Jenny Radesky offers several new points of discussion for parents and teens in NEJM Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. See the linked summary below.