News U Can Use: “Increase in Social Media Use Ties to Rise in Teen Depression”

(CNN)¬†Spending too much time scrolling through social media and watching more television has been linked with symptoms of depression in young people — and a new study reveals to what extent screen time and depression may be intertwined.

For every additional hour young people spend on social media or watching television, the severity of depressive symptoms they experience goes up, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday.

The study included 3,826 students in seventh to 11th grade from 31 schools in the Montreal area in Canada. Between 2012 and 2018, the students were asked to complete surveys during class to assess their screen time behaviors and symptoms of depression.

Screen time was measured by asking students how much time per day they spent playing video games, using social media, watching television and using a computer.

Depression symptoms were measured by asking students to indicate on a scale — from zero (not at all) to four (very much) — to what extent they experience seven known symptoms of depression, such as feelings of loneliness, sadness or hopelessness. Those symptoms were measured as units…”

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