Young people who spend a lot of time in front of screens have a higher risk of developing behavioral disorders, a new study warns.
The scientists said social media is thought to have a particularly strong influence and could be linked to issues such as shoplifting.
According to findings published on July 26, watching videos and television, playing games and texting were linked to oppositional defiance disorder (ODD). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,
Examples of conduct disorder include bullying, vandalism and theft, while people with oppositional defiance disorder tend to be in angry or irritable moods and show argumentative or defiant behavior and retaliation.
According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio: “Conduct disorder refers to a group of behavioral and emotional problems characterized by disregard for others.”
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco collected data on screen use and then evaluated the children for behavioral disorders a year later.
Each hour of social media was linked to a 62 percent higher prevalence of the behavior disorder.
Study lead author Jason Nagata said: “Social media platforms can encourage bullying and aggression, which can contribute to the development of conduct disorder in children.
“Children may be exposed to violent content on social media through advertisements, even if they are not searching for it.
“If children discover violence, the algorithm will feed back even more upsetting content and children may fall into a cycle of toxicity.”
He added that watching movies and playing video games can disrupt sleep and replace exercise as well as reduce social support, which may explain the tie to ODD.
In another study, Nagata and colleagues found that teens became so attached to their phones that nearly half (47.5 percent) of them said they didn’t notice the time when using it, compared to a third (31 percent). ) will interrupt whatever they are doing if they are contacted via their phone.
Other studies have found an association between screen time and behavioral disorders, but did not differentiate between types of screen use or examined only one type, such as video games.
The relationship between several types of screen time and behavior was currently looked at in a sample of 11,875 children aged nine to 11 years.
For each weekday and weekend, the children were asked to self-report whether they had watched/streamed TV shows or movies, watched/streamed videos on platforms such as YouTube, played video games, texted, video chatting, and socialized. How much time did you spend using . Media such as Instagram.
The average amount of screen time was four hours a day, but children who had more screen time had a 69 percent higher prevalence of conduct disorder and a 46 percent higher prevalence of ODD.
Watching/streaming TV shows or movies (1.3 hours), playing video games (1.1 hours) and watching/streaming videos (one hour) were the most time-consuming activities.
Nagata said: “Some guidelines recommend limiting recreational screen time to two hours per day, but this may not be realistic for some teens.
“Daily screen time in excess of four hours can lead to disruptive behavior through exposure to harmful content or the development of screen addictions.”
The researchers assessed disruptive behaviors one year after reported screen use, asking parents and caregivers to complete the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia, which is a method used to classify child and adult mental health. is a computerized device.
They found that 1.9 percent of children met the conditions for new-onset conduct disorder (1.1 percent of girls and 2.8 percent of boys) and 6.3 percent to meet the conditions for new-onset oppositional defiance disorder (4.7 percent of girls, 7.9 percent of boys). Huh.
The authors write that future research may examine sleep and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as potential mediators between screen use and disruptive behavior disorders.
Nagata said: “Given that there was the strongest association between social media and conduct disorder, social media may be a platform for targeting preventive interventions.”
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