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Frequent Technology Usage linked with ADHD in Teens

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This decade has seen an epidemic increase in the usage of technology all over the world. In every home,  the story is the same – children spending too much time on their respective devices, more facebook than ‘face-to-book’, hardly any ‘offline’ social life and rift between generation is increasing. Earlier parents used to scold, beat or, sometimes, snatch the phone from us. Now, the dynamics has changed and parents are helpless as the technology has become a necessary evil.

The study

The study, published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, tracked 2,500 teens over two years and monitored their usage and symptoms. Though a direct link has not been traced but high usage is linked with possible causes such as lack of sleep, family stress at home or a family history of the disorder.

“I don’t think it’s reason for panic. But I’m a clinician who sees kids with ADHD all the time, and I don’t want to see an increase,” says Jenny Radesky, a University of Michigan assistant professor of pediatrics, who specializes in developmental and behavioral health.

“Executive function and flexible problem solving—all that matters for long-term success,” she said. “Even if it’s a small increase in ADHD, I think that’s important.” Such skills are often affected by ADHD. Dr. Radesky, who wrote a JAMA editorial about the new study, wasn’t involved in the work.

If students reported experiencing six or more symptoms on these self-assessments, researchers considered them positive for ADHD symptoms.

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that promotes safe media use for children, sponsored a survey of 620 teens in May 2016, which found 78% said they check their mobile devices at least hourly.

Previous research has shown that incessant distractions and stimuli from tech use might diminish children’s ability to concentrate. Scientists worry this could also harm kids’ ability develop skills like patience and delayed gratification. So, the results doesn’t give a shock but proved the ever lasting worries of the parents. Hope this study reduces the teens’ exposure to social media and make them well aware of the ‘offline’ life surrounding them.

 

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