Study: ADHD Symptoms in Teens Linked to Digital-Media Use

A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed a link between digital-media use and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in teens. The study evaluated more than 2,500 high-school students who had “no evidence of attention challenges at the outset” over a two-year period, and eventually concluded that the more digital-media activities a student engaged in, the more likely they were to develop symptoms of ADHD. Researchers were careful to caution, however, that the findings do not necessarily suggest that digital-media use causes ADHD symptoms; it is possible that students with already-developing attention problems were simply choosing to spend more time online. Noting this, some scientists were more skeptical of the findings: One child psychiatrist told the Los Angeles Times that while “it’s attractive to think that somehow exposure to constantly changing media information might somehow either make an adolescent inattentive or distractible... I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.”