Friday, May 15, 2009
Depression and TV in Young Adults
The Archives of General Psychiatry reported television exposure and total media exposure in adolescence are associated with increased odds of depression in young adulthood, especially in men.
The researchers studied 4142 participants who were not depressed at baseline. They followed them for 7 years and used the same depression rating tool. They found that the people who reported more TV exposure had more depression and it correlated with each additional hour of daily use.
Interestingly, they did not find a relationship between development of depression and exposure to videos, computer games or radio. Compared with the young men, young women were less likely to develop depression given the same total media exposure.
What can this mean? Computer games and videos require some interaction and engagement. TV is quite passive and time spent isolated in front of a TV is time that is not spent exercising, working, reading or engaging with others. Perhaps the depression came first and the TV watching was a way of coping and isolating.
This is another interesting study that supports limiting TV watching in young (and old) people is good for mental health.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 12:19 PM