The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
Amidst the worsening teen mental health crisis and new legislation proposing to ban children under 16 from using social media, a new study finds that greater screen time among children 9-11 is associated with a higher risk of developing suicidal behaviors two years later.
The study, published in Preventive Medicine, finds that each additional hour of screen time is associated with a 9% higher risk of reporting suicidal behavior two years later. In particular, each extra hour spent watching videos, playing video games, texting, and video chatting led to a higher risk of suicidal behavior.
“Screen usage could lead to social isolation, cyberbullying, and sleep disruption, which could worsen mental health,” said senior author Jason Nagata, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “More time on screens often displaces time for in-person socializing, physical activity, and sleep.”
“Screen time can have important benefits such as education and socialization, but parents should try to mitigate adverse mental health risks from excessive screen time. Parents should regularly talk to their children about screen usage and role model screen behaviors,” said Nagata.