Researchers in one study have identified a link between media use and depression in college students and in another study have found that media usage disrupts sleep patterns in preschool aged children.
The study led by Dimitri A.Christakis, MD, MPH and Michelle M. Garrison, PhD of Seattle Children's Research Institute focus on different uses of media and its effects on children and young adults.
In Christakis' study, in which 224 eligible college students at two U.S. universities completed a survey that included the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) as well as the Patient Health Questionnaire, Christakis assessed the link between problematic Internet usage and its association with moderate to severe depression.
The study found a significant association between problematic Internet usage overall and moderate to severe depression.
In a separate study led by Garrison, the results demonstrated how the use of media such as television, video games and online content can affect a child's sleep.
In the study of more than 600 children aged three to five years, Garrison observed increased sleep problems in preschool-aged children for each additional hour of daytime violent media content or evening media use.
Evening media use, on the other hand, was associated with significantly increased sleep problems regardless of content type.
The types of sleep problems reported by parents included trouble falling asleep, nightmares, waking during the night, trouble with morning alertness, and daytime sleepiness.
'Problematic Internet Usage in U.S. College Students: A Pilot Study' has been published online in BMC Medicine, while 'Media Use and Child Sleep: The Impact of Content, Timing, and Environment', was published online June 27 in Pediatrics.