TV, other media watching linked to depression in teens

Parents across the country have scratched their heads in puzzlement for the past few decades over the increasing prevalence of depression in their teenagers. Money, coddling and self-esteem haven't seemed to stem this tide. Now researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have linked depression symptoms in teens to exposure to electronic media.

The authors of the study appearing in the Archives of General Psychiatry don't discount genetics, parental style, social stressors and other factors as contributors to depression. However, their study of 4,142 adolescents over a seven-year period found that 'participants had significantly greater odds of developing depression...for each hour of daily television viewed." Men were more likely to exhibit this effect than women.