A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics has found a significant correlation between screen time and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. According to the study, increased screen time is linked to a higher likelihood of ADHD diagnosis in children.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from several institutions across the United States who analyzed data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which includes information from over 4,500 children between the ages of 9 and 10. The researchers found that children who spent more than two hours a day on screens, including TVs, smartphones, tablets, and computers, were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those who spent less screen time.
The researchers noted that the study does not prove that screen time causes ADHD, but it does provide strong evidence of a significant correlation between the two. The study’s lead author, Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, explained that the findings suggest that excessive screen time may contribute to ADHD.
Previous studies have also shown that excessive screen time can negatively affect children’s mental health, cognitive development, and academic performance. However, this study is the first large-scale analysis to specifically focus on the correlation between screen time and ADHD.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2 to 5 spend no more than one hour a day on screen time, while for children aged 6 and older, parents should set limits on the amount of screen time they have each day. The guidelines were established in 2016, citing the need to promote mental and physical health, reduce obesity, and encourage healthy sleep habits.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and increased reliance on technology for remote learning and entertainment, many children have been spending more time than usual on screens. Parents may want to consider the study’s findings when setting screen time limits for their children.
While the study’s authors acknowledge that the relationship between screen time and ADHD is complex and may be influenced by several factors, they emphasize the need for parents and caregivers to be aware of the potential negative effects of excessive screen time on children’s mental health and cognitive development.
In conclusion, this study provides important insights into the relationship between screen time and ADHD in children. While more research is needed to fully understand the underlying mechanisms, the findings suggest that limiting children’s screen time may have significant benefits for their mental and physical health. Parents and caregivers may want to consider setting reasonable limits on their children’s screen time to promote healthy development and well-being.