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Expert reaction to a study on screen time and depression in adolescents

Posted On: 15 Jul 2019   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

Research, published in JAMA Paediatrics, reports an association between screen time and an increase in symptoms of depression.
Dr Bernadka Dubicka, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' child and adolescent faculty, said:
“This paper is one of the most comprehensive pieces of research to date looking at how different types of technology can have an impact on young people's mental health. By looking at just under 4,000 young people's use of four different types of media over a four-year period it gives us an insight into the relationship between mental health and screen time.
“This study suggests that spending more time on social media is associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. One reason why this may be is that comparing your life on social media to the ‘perfect lives' of others could be having a bad effect on your mental health.
“But the paper also found not all screen time had negative consequences for mental well-being, as computer time and gaming did not have any effect on depression....

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