In a recent study at Michigan State University researchers found that “media multitasking” (using multiple forms of media at the same time — such as playing video games while watching TV) is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Michigan State University’s Mark Becker, lead investigator on the study, said he was surprised to find such a clear association between media multitasking and mental health problems. What’s not yet clear is the cause.

“We don’t know whether the media multitasking is causing symptoms of depression and anxiety or if it’s that people who are depressed and anxious are turning to media multitasking as a form of distraction from their problems,” said Dr. Mark Becker, the lead investigator in the study.

Media use among American youth has increased 20 percent in the past decade, but the amount of time spent multitasking with media increased 120 percent during same period.

A number of studies have pointed to problems associated with multitasking and ...

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