Nagata, J. M., Chu, J., Zamora, G., Ganson, K. T., Testa, A., Jackson, D. B., … & Baker, F. C. (2022). Screen Time and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Among Children 9–10 Years Old: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Adolescent Health.
The aim of this study is to determine the prospective associations between baseline screen time and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at 2-year follow-up in a national (United States) cohort of 9- to 10-year-old children.
We analyzed prospective cohort data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (n = 9,208). Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the associations between baseline self-reported screen time (exposure) and OCD, based on the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (outcome), at 2-year-follow-up, adjusting for race/ethnicity, sex, household income, parent education, family history of psychopathology, and study site, excluding participants with baseline OCD.
The sample was 48.9% female and racially and ethnically diverse (43.5% non-White). Each additional hour of total screen time was prospectively associated with 1.05 higher odds of OCD at 2-year follow-up (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.09). For specific screen time modalities, each additional hour of playing video games (adjusted odds ratio 1.15, 95% CI 1.03-1.28) and watching videos (adjusted odds ratio 1.11, 95% CI 1.01-1.23) was associated with a subsequent OCD diagnosis.
Video games and watching videos are prospectively associated with new-onset OCD in early adolescents. Future research should examine mechanisms linking these specific screen modalities to OCD development to inform future prevention and intervention efforts.