Children and adolescents may have less curiosity, less self-control and emotional stability. This is shown in a study in which more than 40,000 children aged 2 to 17 years were interviewed

Half of the mental health problems occur in adolescence. Picture credits: Getty Images
Half of the mental health problems occur in adolescence. Picture credits: Getty Images

Although it is known that half of the mental health problems develop during adolescence, a new study says that the damage can begin as early as two years old.

Published in the journal Reports on preventive medicineScientists analyzed data from more than 40,000 children between the ages of two and 17 in the US who were sent by parents for a 2016 national health survey. The study is important because 20 percent of the world's population are adolescents. India has almost 243 million young people.

The study says that children and adolescents have less curiosity, less self-control, and less emotional stability after just one hour of screen time. This can lead to an increased risk of anxiety and depression. People aged 14 to 17 years are at higher risk for such side effects, but there are also correlations in younger children and infants. The children of kindergarten age, who often used screens, would have lost control twice as often, the study said.

More screen time was less curiosity when learning. While only nine percent of the eleven to thirteen years who spent an hour a day on screens were not curious to learn new things, it was 22.6 percent for those whose screen time was seven hours or more. While the US-based National Institute of Health claims that young people spend an average of five to seven hours on screens, India lacks unified data on the use of smartphones by adolescents and toddlers.

After a study that was published in International Journal of Preventive MedicineIn India, an average person checks their phones every 16:30 minutes in a 16-hour wake-up cycle. A recent survey in India found that 95 percent of children in homes live with a mobile phone, while 73 percent of Indian children are mobile phone users IJPM Study. Of these, 70 percent fall into the age group of 7-10 years, while 76 percent are in the age group of 11-14 years.


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