Between 2005 and 201
More young adults in the US have psychological problems and digital media use can be partially blamed, says a new study.
Between 2005 and 2017, the rate of adolescents reporting symptoms consistent with the Great Depression over the past 12 months, 52 percent, according to the study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Abnormal Psychology, run by American Psychological Association.
The study found an increase of 63 percent in young adults between 18 and 25 reporting symptoms of depression between 2009 and 2017. It also showed significant increases in the number of adolescents who reported serious psychiatric disorders and suicidal ideation or suicide-related results during similar time periods.
Researchers also note that there is no similar increase among older adults during the corresponding time periods.
Jean Twenge, principal of the study and professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said digital media may play a role in the rise of young adults.
"Cultural trends over the past 10 years may have had a greater impact on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared to older generations," Twenge said in a statement.
Ian Gotlib, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Head of Stanford Neurodevelopment, Affect, and Psychopathology (SNAP) La Drilling, genetics can be ruled out as a potential factor because the rise of mental health reports is too rapid.
"It's correlation, but what's increased with depression is the use of social media with children," said Gotlib, who was not affiliated with the study. "19659000] More: Depression in adolescents and young adult rises: Are phones and social media guilty?
More: Pew survey: Teens say depression is more problematic than bullying, drugs or drinking
A survey survey released last month revealed 70 percent of teenagers feel that anxiety and depression are critical issues among peers, even more than bullying or drug and alcohol use.  Several other studies have found an increase in depression among adolescents and young adults, causing many experts to wonder how much social media can contribute.
"These results indicate the need for more research to understand how digital communications versus social interaction between face to face affects mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes and develops specialized efforts for younger age groups , Twenge says.
Gotlib said that having conversations with your children is a good starting point, and to pay attention to their digital media habits. "I would just look at what seems to be unable to be with your phone," he said. "It doesn't necessarily mean depression but it has that potential."
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23 .
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