Kids navigating on social media or playing games on their smartphones is a view we see every day. However, this habit might not be as harmless as it may appear at first glance. A new study published in JAMA reveals that there is a link between digital media use and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
As the National Institute of Mental Health describes it, ADHD manifests through the loss of focus during tasks, continuous moving, agitation, and difficulties in maintaining the concentration during reading, lectures, or even regular conversations.
The new study reveals that children who usually spend time on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops checking social media, commenting on posts, sharing stuff online, and so on, are more likely to develop ADHD symptoms as soon as in a couple of years of such activity, as reported by Jenny Radesky, MD, and researcher at the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School.
The research showed that there is a link between increased digital media use and ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) in kids and teens
The scientists surveyed and followed about 2,500 high school students between 2014 and 2016. If initially, the participants in the study were free of any ADHD symptoms, after using digital media for about two years, the majority of them developed ADHD symptoms, according to the report published in JAMA.
The researchers found that the subjects experienced at least six inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive episodes.
Luckily, there are some ways to tackle ADHD symptoms related to digital media use. Primarily, activities to build focus and self-regulation, including homework, reading sessions, physical activity, and healthy sleep patterns should be employed by those presenting ADHD symptoms, as reported by the study’s report in JAMA.
“As a result, crafting evidence-based recommendations that address all of the technologies children and adolescents currently use, has been challenging,” said the JAMA report, which added that “the idea that technology is now designed to be habit forming” should be debated during the meetings between clinicians and parents.