New research continues to prove that too much screen time is harmful to children.
Technology has become ingrained in our everyday lives more than ever before. While technology can be useful, it can also be harmful in some ways. Parents have different stances on what amount of screen time is okay for their children. We have learned that too much screen time is not good for anyone but especially children. Two new research studies have found links between screen time and behavioral and psychological risks for children.
One of the studies, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, looked at the connection between screen time and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in kids aged nine to ten years old. The researchers found that too much time playing video games and watching videos is linked with new-onset OCD in children.1
The other recent study that looked at the link between children’s health and screen time was published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal. The study looked at the use of mobile devices to calm children’s emotions and behavior in children aged three to five years old. The researchers found that using mobile devices for claiming young children is linked with decreased executive functioning and increased emotional reactivity.2
Both studies share a common theme that it is important to regulate children’s screen time. Too much screen time can lead to negative physical and mental health consequences. If you think your children are spending too much time watching TV, playing video games, on social media, or any other type of screens, take the time to sit down and talk with your children.
Remember that if your kids are spending too much time on screens they are missing out on important life, social, and developmental experiences. Their mental and physical health will likely be negatively impacted by too much screen time. Talk to your kids about this. Encourage them to try new activities that they are interested in or that you can do together. There will not likely be an overnight change but with time and effort, you and your children can make positive changes that will impact their lives.
- Nagata, J. M., Chu, J., Zamora, G., Ganson, K. T., Testa, A., Jackson, D. B., Costello, C. R., Murray, S. B., & Baker, F. C. (2022). Screen Time and obsessive-compulsive disorder among children 9–10 years old: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Adolescent Health.
- Radesky JS, Kaciroti N, Weeks HM, Schaller A, Miller AL. Longitudinal Associations Between Use of Mobile Devices for Calming and Emotional Reactivity and Executive Functioning in Children Aged 3 to 5 Years. JAMA Pediatr. Published online December 12, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.4793