Excessive Screen Time in Preteens Linked to Suicidal Behavior

Child Watching Phone Screen

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Screen time refers back to the period of time people spend utilizing digital units similar to smartphones, tablets, and computer systems. In latest years, the prevalence of display screen time has risen sharply, with people spending a median of over 7 hours per day on screens.

Engaging in actions similar to watching movies, enjoying video video games, texting, and video chatting has been linked to an elevated threat of suicidal behaviors.

A latest examine revealed that kids aged 9-11 who’ve extra display screen time are at a better threat of growing suicidal tendencies two years later. This discovery comes amidst a worsening teen psychological well being disaster and the introduction of latest laws aiming to ban kids beneath the age of 16 from accessing social media platforms.

The analysis, revealed within the journal Preventive Medicine, confirmed that an elevated period of display screen time by an hour is linked to a 9% improve in the potential of self-reporting suicidal tendencies two years later. Furthermore, the examine indicated that every further hour spent watching movies, enjoying video video games, texting, and video chatting resulted in the next threat of suicidal habits.

“Screen usage could lead to social isolation, cyberbullying, and sleep disruption, which could worsen mental health,” stated senior writer, Jason Nagata, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics on the University of California, San Francisco. “More time on screens often displaces time for in-person socializing, physical activity, and sleep.”

The examine builds upon the present information surrounding the youth psychological well being disaster. Suicide is the second main explanation for dying amongst adolescents. The examine extracts information from the nationwide Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) examine, the most important long-term examine of mind growth within the United States. The examine collected display screen time information for 11,633 kids 9-11 years who have been adopted for 2 years. The kids answered questions on their time spent on six totally different display screen time modalities in addition to suicidal behaviors.

“The examine was performed largely previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its findings are especially relevant now since youth mental health worsened during the pandemic,” noted co-author Kyle T. Ganson, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. The researchers previously found that adolescent screen time doubled to nearly eight hours daily at the start of the pandemic in a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

“Screen time can have important benefits such as education and socialization, but parents should try to mitigate adverse mental health risks from excessive screen time. Parents should regularly talk to their children about screen usage and role model screen behaviors,” said Nagata.

References: “Screen time and suicidal behaviors among U.S. children 9–11 years old: A prospective cohort study” by Jonathan Chu, Kyle T. Ganson, Fiona C. Baker, Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson, Stuart B. Murray and Jason M. Nagata, 17 February 2023, Preventive Medicine.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2023.107452

“Screen Time Use Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study” by Jason M. Nagata, Catherine A. Cortez, Chloe J. Cattle, Kyle T. Ganson, Puja Iyer, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo and Fiona C. Baker, 1 November 2021, JAMA Pediatrics.
DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4334

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