Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Multiple media use tied to depression, anxiety

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Using multiple forms of media at the same time -- such as playing a computer game while watching TV -- is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, scientists have found for the first time.

Using multiple forms of media at the same time -- such as playing a computer game while watching TV -- is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, scientists have found for the first time.

Michigan State University's Mark Becker, lead investigator on the study, said he was surprised to find such a clear association between media multitasking and mental health problems. What's not yet clear is the cause.

"We don't know whether the media multitasking is causing symptoms of depression and social anxiety, or if it's that people who are depressed and anxious are turning to media multitasking as a form of distraction from their problems," said Becker, assistant professor of psychology.

While overall media use among American youth has increased 20 percent in the past decade, the amount of time spent multitasking with media spiked 120 percent during that period, Becker said.

For the study, which appears in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, Becker and fellow MSU researchers Reem Alzahabi and Christopher Hopwood surveyed 319 people on their media use and mental health.

Participants were asked how many hours per week they used two or more of the primary forms of media, which include television, music, cell phones, text messaging, computer and video games, web surfing and others. For the mental health survey, the researchers used well-established measures, although the results do not reflect a clinical diagnosis.

Becker said future research should explore cause and effect. If it turns out media multitasking is causing depression and anxiety, recommendations could be made to alleviate the problem, he said.

On the other hand, if depressed or anxious people are turning to media multitasking, that might actually help them deal with their problems. It could also serve as a warning sign that a youngster is becoming depressed or anxious.

"Whatever the case, it's very important information to have," Becker said. "This could have important implications for understanding how to minimize the negative impacts of increased media multitasking."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark W. Becker, Reem Alzahabi, Christopher J. Hopwood. Media Multitasking Is Associated with Symptoms of Depression and Social Anxiety. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2012; 121105080116008 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0291

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Multiple media use tied to depression, anxiety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145557.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, December 4). Multiple media use tied to depression, anxiety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145557.htm
Michigan State University. "Multiple media use tied to depression, anxiety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145557.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins