Study: Smartphones May Trigger ADHD in Teens
Teenagers who constantly use their smartphones may have a heightened risk of developing symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a new study suggests.
The findings offer a look at a question many parents may have: Can those ubiquitous digital devices -- and their constant pull on kids' attention -- cause mental or behavioral issues?
The answer, the study authors said, is "maybe."The researchers found that teens who used their devices "many times" a day were at increased risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms over the next two years.
Around 10 percent reported new problems with attention, focus or being still, which are hallmarks of ADHD. That compared with less than 5 percent of their peers who kept their device use to a minimum.But the findings do not prove that digital media are to blame, said Dr. Jenny Radesky, who wrote an editorial published with the study.
There are many other factors that could affect teenagers' likelihood of reporting those symptoms, said Radesky, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan.