Adolescent TV Time Affects Adult Risk of Depression

Second study finds that adolescents' social habits affect risk of cannabis use

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who watch a lot of TV are at increased risk of depression as adults, while the risk of adolescents using cannabis increases the more they spend time going out with their friends, according to two studies published in the February issues of the Archives of General Psychiatry and the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, respectively.

In the first study, Brian A. Primack, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues studied the electronic media exposure of 4,142 non-depressed adolescents who were assessed for depression over seven years of follow-up, and found that greater television time was associated with higher odds of developing depression as young adults.

In the second study, Emmanuel Kuntsche, Ph.D., of the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems in Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a study of 93,297 students (aged 15 years) from 31 largely European and North American countries and regions, and found that the more evenings the subjects spent out with their friends, the more likely they were to use cannabis.

"There is a great need to learn more about the nature of evenings out with friends and related factors that might explain changes in adolescent cannabis use over time," Kuntsche and colleagues write. "Because there are many benefits to adolescent social interaction, it is important to determine how best to foster it without unduly increasing exposure opportunities for cannabis use."

Abstract - Primack
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Kuntsche
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing