Previously, the use of smartphone devices has been linked with cases of hyperactivity in children. Many studies have shown that children who use smartphones have a hyperactive imagination, and their behavior tends to aggravate using digital devices and excessive screen time.
However, a recent study suggests that the current studies might not prove the point. In fact, digital devices are only adding to the already hyperactiveness. The relationship between digital devices and hyperactivity/attention deficit is, therefore, a two-way street, with bidirectional effects influencing one another.
A study at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary says that hyperactive kids need constant stimulation to maintain their alertness. The fast-paced video games and movies on mobile devices often increase the level of attention.
Digital Devices & Hyperactive Children
The study was conducted to analyze the impact of digital devices on children at the Alpha Generation Lab at the Department of Ethology at ELTE. The parents of preschool children between four and six years old were asked to complete a questionnaire. The questions included their child’s mobile device or tablet usage and behavioral problems. Researchers followed up with the parents three years later with the same questionnaire. At that time, the children were between seven and nine.
The researchers found that restless children are more likely to use digital devices.
“Fidgety, restless children are more likely to use digital devices. Meanwhile, parents are more likely to engage their children with gadgets. We found that the hyperactivity and attention deficit in preschool predicted the amount of mobile use in school. The more fidgety and distracted a child is in preschool, the more gadgetry they use in early school. This can be explained by the fact that parents are more likely to use digital devices to distract or engage these children, and the children themselves are more likely to seek exciting intense content.” Veronika Konok, head of the research team at the Alpha Generation Lab, concluded in the statement.
The researchers also found that children with social problems use mobile phones more, but this is only true at school-going age. They did not find a causal relationship, i.e., whether early mobile use leads to later social problems or vice versa. The question of cause and effect is therefore unclear, and there is likely a two-way relationship: neither the chicken nor the egg came first.
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