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Digital media linked to depression in young adults

IANS  |  New York 

Increased use of may be partly responsible for the growth in the percentage of young adults experiencing certain types of mental disorders in the US over the past decade, suggests new research.

"More US adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide," said Jean Twenge, at in the US.

"These trends are weak or non-existent among adults 26 years and over, suggesting a generational shift in instead of an overall increase across all ages," Twenge added.

For the study, the researchers analysed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally survey that has tracked drug and alcohol use, mental and other health-related issues in individuals aged 12 and over in the US since 1971.

They looked at survey responses from more than 200,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 from 2005 to 2017, and almost 400,000 adults aged 18 and over from 2008 to 2017.

The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major in the last 12 months increased 52 per cent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 - from 8.7 per cent to 13.2 per cent -- and 63 per cent in young adults aged 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017 - from 8.1 per cent to 13.2 per cent, showed the findings published in the Journal of

"Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared with older generations," said Twenge.

She believes this trend may be partially due to increased use of electronic communication and digital media, which may have changed modes of social interaction enough to affect

Moreover, research shows that young people are not sleeping as much as they did in previous generations, she noted.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 17:58 IST