The new issue of *Archives of General Psychiatry* (Vol. 66 No. 2)
includes an article: “Association Between Media Use in Adolescence and
Depression in Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Study.”

The authors are Brian A. Primack, MD, EdM, MS; Brandi Swanier, BA; Anna
M. Georgiopoulos, MD; Stephanie R. Land, PhD; & Michael J. Fine, MD, MSc.

Here’s the abstract:

Context

Although certain media exposures have been linked to the presence of
psychiatric conditions, few studies have investigated the association
between media exposure and depression.

Objective

To assess the longitudinal association between media exposure in
adolescence and depression in young adulthood in a nationally
representative sample.

Design

Longitudinal cohort study.

Setting and Participants

We used the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add
Health) to investigate the relationship between electronic media
exposure in 4142 adolescents who were not depressed at baseline and
subsequent development of depression after 7 years of follow-up.

Main Outcome Measure

Depression at follow-up assessed using the 9-item Center for
Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale.

Results

Of the 4142 participants (47.5% female and 67.0% white) who were not
depressed at baseline and who underwent follow-up assessment, 308 (7.4%)
reported symptoms consistent with depression at follow-up. Controlling
for all covariates including baseline Center for Epidemiologic Studies-
Depression Scale score, those reporting more television use had
significantly greater odds of developing depression (odds ratio [95%
confidence interval], 1.08 [1.01-1.16]) for each additional hour of
daily television use. In addition, those reporting more total media
exposure had significantly greater odds of developing depression (1.05
[1.0004-1.10]) for each additional hour of daily use. We did not find a
consistent relationship between development of depressive symptoms and
exposure to videocassettes, computer games, or radio. Compared with
young men, young women were less likely to develop depression given the
same total media exposure (odds ratio for interaction term, 0.93 [0.88-0.99]).

Conclusion

Television exposure and total media exposure in adolescence are
associated with increased odds of depressive symptoms in young
adulthood, especially in young men.

(courtesy of Ken Pope)

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