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Dev Psychol. 2014 Sep;50(9):2228-41. doi: 10.1037/a0037318. Epub 2014 Jul 7.

Media use and ADHD-related behaviors in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis.

Author information

Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR.
Department of Educational Neuroscience.
School of Communication.


There are several theoretical reasons to believe that media use might be related to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or ADHD-related behaviors (i.e., attention problems, hyperactivity, and impulsivity). Although studies into the media-ADHD relationship have accumulated, they have yielded inconsistent results. Therefore, we still do not know whether children's media use and ADHD-related behaviors are related and, if so, under which conditions. To fill this gap in the literature, we first identified 6 different hypotheses that may explain why media use in general and viewing fast-paced or violent media content might be related to 1 or more ADHD-related behaviors. Subsequently, we conducted a meta-analysis of 45 empirical studies investigating the relationship between media use and ADHD-related behaviors in children and adolescents. Our results indicated a small significant relationship between media use and ADHD-related behaviors (r+ = .12). Finally, we identified several specific gaps in the existing literature and presented 5 crucial directions for future research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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