The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
Tweens who spend more time on screens have a higher likelihood of developing disruptive behavior disorders, with social media having an especially strong influence, a new UC San Francisco-led study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found.
Social media use was most likely to be linked to conduct disorder, while other forms of screen use—such as watching videos and television, playing video games, and texting—were more likely to be associated with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
Conduct disorder is characterized by violating others’ basic rights or societal rules with actions such as bullying, vandalism, and stealing, while ODD is marked by a pattern of angry or irritable mood, argumentative or defiant behavior, and vindictiveness.
Researchers collected data on screen use, then evaluated for behavior disorders one year later. Each hour of social media was linked with a 62% higher prevalence of conduct disorder, while television, video games, video chat, and texting were linked with a 14% to 21% higher prevalence of ODD.
“Social media platforms can encourage bullying and aggression, which may contribute to the development of conduct disorder in children,” said Jason Nagata, MD, lead study author and assistant professor of pediatrics at UCSF.
Researchers found the average amount of screen time was four hours per day, with the most time spent watching/streaming TV shows/movies (1.3 hours on average), playing video games (1.1 hours), and watching/streaming videos (1 hour).
In fact, four hours a day was a threshold, with time above four hours associated with a 69% higher prevalence of conduct disorder and a 46% higher prevalence of ODD.
“Some guidelines recommend limiting recreational screen time to two hours per day, but this may not be realistic for many teens,” said Nagata. “Exceeding four hours of daily screen time may lead to disruptive behaviors through exposure to harmful content or the development of screen addictions.”