Excessive teenage internet use could lead to depression

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According to findings from a study published in a recent addition of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine online, excessive internet use by teenagers can more than double the risk for depression over time. According to Lawrence Lam, PhD, of the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Australia, and a colleague, the adjusted incidence rate ratio for depression was 2.5 (95% CI 1.2 to 4.3) among 1,100 large city high school students who engaged in pathologic internet use. The study’s sample population reported no depression just nine months before the study; Lam and Zi-Wen Pang, MSc, of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, suggested that internet addiction could then actually predispose teenagers to developing depression. “Because this is a cohort study, results provide further information on the effect of pathological use of the Internet on adolescent mental health, particularly depression, not just an association between the two. This study has demonstrated a chronological sequence between pathological use of the Internet and depression in a sample of healthy adolescents,” they said. The researchers observed that excessive internet use was not only associated with depression but also relationship problems, aggressive behavior, and physical health problems. Click here to read an article from New York Daily News that discusses this study more.

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