Study links teen depression risk to hours spent with online media

    4:59 AM, Sep 12, 2011   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A new UAMS study links depression in teenagers is tied to the amount of time they spend on the Internet and playing video games.

    UAMS psychiatrists found that youth who spend five or more hours per day online or playing video games are at a higher risk of depression and suicidal thoughts than teens who play fewer hours.

    Erick Messias, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, will be discussing his research into the connection between entertainment media and teen depression at a public luncheon Sept. 14 at UAMS.

    Messias' presentation, "Internet, Video Games and Mental Health," will focus on his work, recently published in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, the official journal of the American Association of Suicidology.

    "We need to do a better job of understanding how the Internet and video games, whether violent or not, affect young people. For many, the Internet and video games are the only form of social interaction they have; they are their primary source of communication," says Messias. "We fully don't understand the conswquences of this kind of stimulation, but we hope this work will lead to improving the screening process in adolescents."

    THV's BJ Steed is taking a closer look at this study and will have more on Today's THV and todaysthv.com.

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