A study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests a direct relationship between computer screen time in teenagers and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The two-year study looked at a group of more than 2,500 Los Angeles high school students whose ability to pay attention declined as they became increasingly involved in digital media platforms for the duration of the experiment, the Los Angeles Times reported.
For each score, a digital engagement of teenagers increased, their reported ADHD symptoms rose 10 percent, the study suggested. While significant use of digital media does not definitely cause ADHD, it does appear to induce symptoms that would justify such a diagnosis or pharmaceutical treatment, the study said.
ADHD has long been suspected in the early stages of childhood development. But the exact circumstances ̵
"We believe we are investigating the onset of new symptoms that were not present at the beginning of the study," said Adam Leventhal, a psychologist at the University of Southern California and senior author of the study
Other studies involving digital engagement have implied an inverse relationship to happiness: as the use of digital media decreases, people are generally happier.
The JAMA The study looked at adolescents aged 15 and 16 intermittently over a two-year period. The subjects were asked about their incidence of online activity and the occurrence of 18 ADHD symptoms.
The study acknowledged that subjects had ADHD symptoms from the beginning, caused by other factors but aggravated by the use of digital media.