Teenagers spending time online may suffer from ADHD

Highlights

ADHD symptoms are found in teenagers who spends more time surfing the net, playing games and chatting with friends on smart gadgets, says a US study

ADHD symptoms are found in teenagers who spends more time surfing the net, playing games and chatting with friends on smart gadgets, says a U.S study.

More than 2,500 Los Angeles high school students over a period of two years were observed about the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) and their digital habits.

A senior study author Adam Leventhal, director of the Health, Emotion , & Addiction Laboratory at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles said, “This study raises new concerns whether the proliferation of high-performance digital media technologies may be putting a new generation of youth at risk for ADHD.”

Leventhal, by an email, said, “While digital media use in moderation might provide some benefits, like access to educational information or social support, excessive exposure to digital media entertainment could have adverse mental health consequences.”

But a lot of these symptoms depend on the frequency of the notifications they get and the type of social interactions they have in real life. More number of beeps suggest that the teens may lose their ability to focus and stay engaged in tasks like schoolwork for long period of time.

The students observed did not have any symptoms before the beginning of the study. About 11 percent developed ADHD symptoms by the end of the study. About 51 students were suffered with the symptoms.

Though five percent among the 495 teams who did not do any of these activities developed ADHD symptoms. In the study it is also possible that some of the participants had undetected symptoms of ADHD when they joined the study.

Dr.Jenny Radesky, author of an accompanying editorial and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan C.S Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor said, “Rather than focusing on a time duration, I recommend that parents take stock of their family’s usual day, and identify where some downtime or single-tasking could occur.”

Dr.Radesky advised, “Parents can take the lead and show their kids when and where they choose to create boundaries around media use, for example, putting their phone away during meals, or car rides, or setting an evening device curfew, and have their kids do the same.”

Over the next two years, researchers surveyed teens every six months to see how often they did 14 different digital activities.

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