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Too Much TV Can Make Teens Depressed

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Parents now have a legitimate reason to be concerned that their teen may be watching too much television. A new study reports that greater exposure to TV during the teenage years appears to raise the risk of depression in young adulthood, especially among boys.

The report appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Dr. Brian A. Primack at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and his colleagues studied the media habits over 4-thousand healthy, non-depressed teens. Researchers asked them how many hours they spent during the week watching TV or videos, playing computer games or listening to the radio.

The report shows the teens had an average of 5.68 hours of media exposure each day, including 2.3 hours of TV viewing per day.

Seven years later, at the average age of 21.8 years old, the study subjects were screened. 308 (7.4 percent) of the subjects had developed symptoms of depression. The report also showed the teens had a statistically significant greater likelihood of developing depression in young adulthood.

Young women were given the same amount of media exposure, but the report showed they were less likely to develop symptoms of depression than young men.

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