Is There an Association Between More Frequent Use of Digital Media by Teens and Symptoms of ADHD?



Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Adam M. Leventhal, Ph.D., email Gary Polakovic at or call 213-740-9226. The full study is available on the For The Media website.

Want to embed a link to this report in your story? Link will be live at the embargo time:

Translation available: A translation in simplified Chinese is available below.



Bottom Line: Frequent use of digital media may be associated with the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in adolescence but more research is needed to know if the association is causal.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Digital media, including texting, video chatting and social media sites, are accessible, constantly available on mobile devices and intensely stimulating. But whether frequent use of this modern digital media is associated with the occurrence of ADHD symptoms in adolescence is unknown.

Who and When: 2,587 Los Angeles County high school students without symptoms of ADHD at study entry who were surveyed five times from September 2014 to December 2016.

What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Self-reported use of 14 different digital media activities, such as checking social media sites and texting (exposures); self-rated frequency of 18 ADHD symptoms in the six months preceding the survey (outcomes).

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.

Authors: Adam M. Leventhal, Ph.D., University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, and coauthors

Results: Frequently using multiple forms of digital media was associated with a higher likelihood of ADHD symptoms occurring over a 24-month period during adolescence.

Study Limitations: A self-rating survey for ADHD symptoms is insufficient to determine an ADHD diagnosis; there also is the possibility of reverse causation (ADHD is associated with sensation seeking which could prompt digital media use to satisfy a need for stimulation); and undetected baseline ADHD symptoms cannot be ruled out.

Study Conclusions:

Related material: The editorial, “Digital Media and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adolescents,” by Jenny Radesky, M.D., University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, is also available on the For The Media website.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

#  #  #

For more information, contact JAMA Network Media Relations at 312-464-JAMA (5262) or email


Translation in Simplified Chinese





媒体咨询:联系通讯作者Adam M. Leventhal, Ph.D.,请发电子邮件到Gary Polakovic



概要: 根据《美国医学会杂志》(JAMA)发表的一项研究,频繁使用数字媒体可能与青春期注意力缺陷/多动症(ADHD)症状的发展有关,但需要更多的研究来了解这种关联是否是因果关系。


为何对该问题感兴趣:数字媒体,包括短信,视频聊天和社交媒体网站等,都可以通过移动设备随时访问,并且非常刺激。 但是目前还不知道经常使用这些现代数字媒体与青春期ADHD症状的发生是否有关。


研究参与者及时间: 2587名在研究开始时没有ADHD症状的洛杉矶县高中生, 其在2014年9月至2016年12月期间接受了五次研究调查。


研究内容(研究手段及结果):自我报告的14种不同数字媒体活动的使用情况,例如查看社交媒体网站和发短信等(暴露); 自我评定的调查前六个月内18种ADHD症状频率(结果)。


如何研究(研究设计)这是一项观察性研究。 研究人员不会为研究目而进行干预,也无法控制可以解释研究结果的所有自然差异。


作者:Adam M. Leventhal, Ph.D., 南加州大学凯克医学院,洛杉矶, 以及共同作者




研究局限:针对ADHD症状的自我评估不足以确定ADHD诊断; 还存在反向因果关系的可能性(ADHD与寻求感觉刺激有关,而这可能促使更多的使用数字媒体来满足刺激需求); 并且不能排除未检测到的基线ADHD症状。



结论及意义 在接受2年随访的青春期青少年中, 频繁使用数字媒体与其后的ADHD症状表现出有统计意义的中等关联度。但还需要进一步的研究以确定该关联是否是因果关系。


欲了解更多信息:在下面网站可以获得该研究的全文,For The Media: