Does Digital Media Cause Behavioral Problems in Adolescents?

Does Digital Media Cause Behavioral Problems in Adolescents?

With technology being such a massive entity in our society nowadays, there is always talks about how digital media affects our adolescents. Certainly, there are advantages of computers and tablets for use in an educational manner since children are able to learn subjects in a different method that provokes their brain.

On the other hand, excessive access to digital media could have an adverse effect on teens. In a recent study put on by The University of Southern California (USC), they found that heavy adolescent users of digital devices are twice as likely to have the propensity to develop mental health problems compared to those adolescents who are less frequent users. The main issue that comes up for adolescents who devote too much time to their digital devices is ADHD.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become more commonly diagnosed among adolescents in the last decade. The past research for ADHD is not relevant to adolescents who use digital technology because the previous information was accessed before cell phones, social media, and mobile apps were in existence. Teams of scientists around the country have started to really look at the recent signs that teens are displaying with frequent digital media use.

ADHD has become a more relevant topic because of the lack of sleep teens are losing out on and their average amount of REM sleep being reduced from staying up late on their devices and being too overly stimulated to go to sleep. A growing number of recent studies have linked sleep disorders as the cause to more ADHD symptoms rising up in the today’s youth according to the REM Sleep Disorders Center in New York. One of the sleep disorders, sleep apnea, has been connected to endless hours of screen time causing a vicious cycle to ensue. Kids experiencing sleeplessness can show symptoms that masquerade as ADHD within a kid who would not otherwise be diagnosed with ADHD.  

Teens really needs parents to set restraints on their screen time although that is often much easier said than done. The truth is teens are probably not going to make the best decisions for themselves in regard to technology versus sleep because the reward is too great for them to know their limitations. Lack of sleep is no big deal to them in comparison of having the fear of missing out. A parent may have to be proactive in helping their teens to get the appropriate amount of shuteye to not only diminish their digital media time but to diminish their symptoms of ADHD in order to get a good night’s sleep.

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center has a program that can help the whole family to begin to heal. We offer essential recovery support skills to show the teen and their family how to implement a strong network that can reinforce healthy living.

Call us today to start living in recovery: 662-598-4214

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