Children’s Mental Health and Media

More to read:-

  1. A new report suggests exposure to significant levels of television and other electronic media during the teenage years may influence depression during young adulthood — especially among men.
  2. The report is found in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
  3. Depression, the leading cause of non-fatal disability worldwide, commonly begins in adolescence or young adulthood, according to background information in the article.
  4. “The development of depression in adolescence may be understood as a biopsychosocial, multifactorial process influenced by risk and protective factors including temperament, genetic heritability, parenting style, cognitive vulnerability, stressors (e.g., trauma exposure or poverty) and interpersonal relationships,” the authors write…
  5. Given the same amount of media exposure, young women were less likely to develop symptoms of depression than young men.
  6. Media exposure could influence the development of depression symptoms through many different mechanisms, the authors note. The time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that would otherwise be spent on social, intellectual or athletic activities that may protect against depression.
  7. Media exposure at night may disrupt sleep, which is important for normal cognitive and emotional development. In addition, messages transmitted through the media may reinforce aggression and other risky behaviors, interfere with identity development or inspire fear and anxiety.
  1. Research shows that most children and adolescents do not get enough high-quality sleep, and that their sleep times appear to have declined over the last two decades.
  2. Coinciding with this trend has been the rise in popularity of new media forms including the Internet, video games, cell phones and DVDs.
  1. Evidently, this boy had made an offensive racial comment about another kid in his grade. When my friend and her husband read what he had written, they were shocked.
  2. They didn’t recognize their own son, whom they felt they knew well, and could hardly believe he’d written the words they saw on his computer screen.
  3. When they confronted him, the boy was mortified. As they talked about it, it became clear that the supposed anonymity and immediacy of the Internet had led him to say things he never would say in “real” life — and didn’t even mean. It was a game, an exercise, a way of trying on identities.
  1. The big question, of course, is what does all this media time do the developing brains of kids? Certainly, it doesn’t bolster academic performance…
  2. There’s evidence from numerous studies that all this media exposure impacts kids in unfortunate ways.
  3. A study in 2009 found a link between excess media exposure and depression in teens.
  4. A 2008 study linked pediatric sleep disorders with too much media time.
  5. Various studies have found that excessive media time leads to lower grades, behavioral problems, and obesity…
  6. The study found 77 food products advertised on over 2,000 web pages targeted to children, replete with colorful games, activities and entertainment to push their products.
  7. In the three months of the study, such food-related websites had 12.2 million visits from children under age 11. And the smart marketers know that to reach kids, they need to hit the places the kids go, …
  8. The fact is that the air they breathe and the food they eat increasingly is being influenced by new media, so if parents want to be on top of what their kids drink and eat, they’d better learn to navigate around the places their kids go so they can exert some influence.
  • Teen Media Exposure Associated With Depression Symptoms in Young Adulthood – CHICAGO—Exposure to more television and other electronic media during the teenage years appears to be associated with developing depression symptoms in young adulthood, especially among men, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.Depression, the leading cause of non-fatal disability worldwide, commonly begins in adolescence or young adulthood, according to background information in the article. “The development of depression in adolescence may be understood as a biopsychosocial, multifactorial process influenced by risk and protective factors including temperament, genetic heritability, parenting style, cognitive vulnerability, stressors (e.g., trauma exposure or poverty) and interpersonal relationships,” the authors write. Media exposure is another plausible influence, since teens are exposed to an average of eight and one-half hours of electronic media per day.Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ed.M., M.S., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to determine exposure to electronic media among 4,142 adolescents who were not depressed at the beginning of the study in 1995. The teens were asked how many hours they had spent during the last week watching television or videocassettes, playing computer games or listening to the radio (the survey was conducted before DVDs or the Internet became widely used). They reported an average of 5.68 hours of media exposure per day, including 2.3 hours of television, 0.62 hours of videocassettes, 0.41 hours of computer games and 2.34 hours of radio.Seven years later (at an average age of 21.8), participants were screened and 308 (7.4 percent) had developed symptoms consistent with depression. “In the fully adjusted models, participants had significantly greater odds of developing depression by follow-up for each hour of daily television viewed,” the authors write. “In addition, those reporting higher total media exposure had significantly greater odds of developing depression for each additional hour of daily use.” Given the same amount of media exposure, young women were less likely to develop symptoms of depression than young men.Media exposure could influence the development of depression symptoms through many different mechanisms, the authors note. The time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that would otherwise be spent on social, intellectual or athletic activities that may protect against depression. Media exposure at night may disrupt sleep, which is important for normal cognitive and emotional development. In addition, messages transmitted through the media may reinforce aggression and other risky behaviors, interfere with identity development or inspire fear and anxiety.”Psychiatrists, pediatricians, family physicians, internists and other health care providers who work with adolescents may find it useful to ask their patients about television and other media exposure,” the authors write. “When high amounts of television or total exposure are present, a broader assessment of the adolescent’s psychosocial functioning may be appropriate, including screening for current depressive symptoms and for the presence of additional risk factors. If no other immediate intervention is indicated, encouraging patients to participate in activities that promote a sense of mastery and social connection may promote the development of protective factors against depression.”
    (Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66[2]:181-188. Available to the media pre-embargo at http://www.jamamedia.org).Editor’s Note: This study was supported by a Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute, a Physician Faculty Scholar Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a grant from the Maurice Falk Foundation. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.For more information, contact JAMA/Archives media relations at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations@jama-archives.org.
  • Preschoolers and TV – A recent study by psychologists at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville found that even watching just a few minutes of a typical, fast-paced children’s cartoon can negatively affect the viewer’s mental acuity.

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