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First Published Thursday, 5 February 2009


teens-tv

Published: February 5, 2009

Lengthy television viewing in adolescence may raise the risk for depression in young adulthood, according to a new report.


The study, published in the February issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, found a rising risk of depressive symptoms with increasing hours spent watching television. There was no association of depression with exposure to computer games, videocassettes or radio.


Researchers used data from a larger analysis of 4,142 adolescents who were not depressed at the start of the study. After seven years of follow-up, more than 7 percent had symptoms of depression. But while about 6 percent of those who watched under three hours a day were depressed, more than 17 percent of those who watched more than nine hours a day had depressive symptoms.


The association was stronger in boys than in girls, and it held after adjusting for age, race, socioeconomic status and educational level.


“We really don’t know what it was specifically about TV exposure that was associated with depression, whether it was a particular kind of programming or some contextual factor such as watching alone or with other people,” said Dr. Brian Primack, the lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “Therefore, I would be uneasy to make any blanket recommendations based on this one study.”


Source:   http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/health/research/10beha.html?_r=1&ref=health


Related


Health Guide: Depression


Association Between Media Use in Adolescence and Depression in Young Adulthood (Archives of General Psychiatry)


TV and video games increase teen depression risk: study


By AFP – Mon Feb 2, 3:45 PM PST

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Spending more hours watching television or playing video games as a teenager may lead to depression in young adults, according to a study published Monday.


Researchers looked at the exposure to electronic media of 4,142 adolescents who were not depressed when the study began in 1995, before DVDs and the Internet were widely used.


The teens reported an average of 5.68 hours of media exposure per day, including 2.3 hours of television, 2.34 hours of radio, 0.62 hours of videocassettes and 0.41 hours of computer games.


Seven years later, when the participants were an average of 21.8 years old, 308 of them (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,” wrote the authors of the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal.


“In addition, those reporting higher total media exposure had significantly greater odds of developing depression for each additional hour of daily use,” said the study, led by Brian Primack of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


Young women were found to be less likely to develop symptoms of depression than young men when exposed to the same amount of electronic media.


Depression, the leading cause of non-fatal disability worldwide, commonly begins in adolescence or young adulthood, the article explained.


The authors noted that time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that could be spent on social, athletic or intellectual activities that could guard against depression.


Messages transmitted through electronic media may encourage aggression, inspire fear or anxiety and hamper identity development, they added.


Being exposed to media at night may also disrupt sleep important for emotional and cognitive development.


“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,” the authors said.


“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.”


Source:   http://health.yahoo.com/news/afp/uspsychiatrysocietymedia_20090202234823.html



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