Mental Health News: Boys playing video games most days, at least once a week, and at least once a month at age 11 had lower depression scores, according to the new study published in Psychological Medicine.
Researchers at University College London, reviewed data from 11,341 adolescents from the Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of young people who have been involved in research since they were born in the UK in 2000-2002.
The study participants had all answered questions about their screen time, time spent on social media, playing video games, or using the internet, at age 11. They also answered questions about symptoms of depression, such as feeling low, loss of pleasure and poor concentration, at age 14. The researchers also considered other factors like socioeconomic status, reports of bullying, and prior emotional symptoms.
After analysis, results showed that boys who played video games most days had 24% fewer depressive symptoms, three years later, than boys who played video games less than once a month. This trend was only significant among boys with low physical activity levels, and was not found among girls. The researchers have not confirmed if the relationship is causal.
The study also found that girls (but not boys) who used social media most days at age 11 had 13% more depressive symptoms three years later than those who used social media less than once a month.
In conclusion, screen time can positively or negatively influence young people’s mental health, and may also impact boys and girls differently.
To Know More, You May Refer To
Kandola, A., Owen, N., Dunstan, D. W., & Hallgren, M. (2021). Prospective relationships of adolescents’ screen-based sedentary behaviour with depressive symptoms: The millennium cohort study. Psychological Medicine, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033291721000258