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New research published this month suggests a link between screen use, caregiver mental health and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children. Research by Fanziska Waller at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria hypothesised that parents’ mental health and stress is associated with impairments in their parenting behaviour. It was also predicted that higher levels of screen time would connect to increased levels of ADHD symptoms within children. To examine these claims, researchers recruited participants from health centres, kindergartens, and primary schools in Moldova, northern Macedonia, and Romania. Known as the ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health’ programme for parents of young children (or PLH-YC, 835), primary caregivers completed baseline assessments. Parenting styles, ADHD symptoms and screen time were evaluated with findings showing there to be “no differences in children’s screen media usage by gender, primary caregivers’ gender, or marital status.” However, it was discovered that parental stress could be linked to dysfunctional parenting styles and that “none of the indirect associations of dysfunctional parenting on child ADHD symptoms via screen media usage were significant.” More can be read here.

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