Internet Use Tied to Teen Depression, Study Says

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Whether you're on the Internet all the time or not at all, you could be at risk for depression, a new study from the journal of Pediatrics says. Research indicates that both heavy Internet use and non-use could be tied to the disorder.

Reuters reports that 7,200 people ages 16 to 20 were involved in the survey, which was conducted by Dr. Pierre-Andre Michaud and his associates at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The teens were asked questions about their Internet usage and health.
The teens that reported more than two hours of online usage per day were considered "heavy" Intenet users, and those who were on the Web several times per week to two hours per day were categorized as "regular" users.

After answering questions about "depressive tendencies," researchers found that heavy users or non-users were more likely to be depressed or very depressed. In males, heavy users and non-users were both around one-third more likely to have a high depression score. Female heavy Internet users had an 86 percent greater chance of depression, and non-users had a 46 percent greater chance of showing signs of the disorder.

However, as a whole, average depression scores across all three kinds of users ranked between 1 and 2 on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 representing "not depressed at all."

Researchers are not entirely sure about why heavy and non-use of the Internet is linked to depression, but some theories include social factors and predisposition to the disorder.

How much time do you spend on the Internet per day? Do you ever feel symptoms of depression? Or do you think one has nothing to do with the other? %Poll-58909%


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