Children born to mothers who frequently used their phones were more likely to be hyperactive, according to a recent study. As part of the study, a team of international researchers examined 83,884 mother-children pairs from Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, and Korea between 1996 to 2011. According to the research team, children aged five to seven had a 28 percent increased risk of being hyperactive if their mothers used their mobile phones four times a day while being pregnant.
The study revealed children born to mothers who used their mobile phones for an hour daily during pregnancy had higher odds of developing hyperactive behaviors. The research team also found that children born to mothers who never used their mobile phones during pregnancy had lower odds of exhibiting behavioral hyperactivity/inattention or emotional problems. Researchers speculate that radio waves emitted by mobile phones may have something to do with the increased risk of developing hyperactivity in children. However, an expert also cautioned to take these results with a grain of salt.
Pediatrician Dr. Robin Hansen of the University of California inferred that children who feel that they were being ignored by their parents might be resorting to hyperactivity to get the attention that they wanted. “Is it something about the cellphone itself? Is it something that impacts your parenting behaviour? It’s not until you cry or you throw something or make a lot of noise, that your parents shift their attention from the cellphone to you. It reinforces hyperactive, attention-getting behaviour,” Dr. Hansen added in DailyMail.co.uk.
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The findings were published in the journal Environment International.
Mobile phone use may induce hyperactivity in adults too
Excessive mobile phone use was also found to trigger hyperactivity in adults, a study revealed. As part of the research, health experts at the University of Virginia examined mobile phone use among 221 college students. During the first week of the study, half of the participants were instructed to minimize mobile phone interruptions by activating their “do-not-disturb” features. The participants swapped places during the second week of the study. The research team then assessed hyperactivity and inattentiveness in participants by determining the frequency symptoms similar to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The experts used the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a basis for identifying ADHD-like symptoms in adults.
The research team found that up to 95 percent of smartphone users checked their devices during social gatherings. The experts also found that one in 10 users used a mobile phone during sexual intercourse. The study participants spent at least two hours a day using their devices, the study showed. The study also revealed that the participants reported symptoms similar to ADHD when their mobile phone notifications were turned on compared to when their devices were silent. Some of these symptoms include hyperactivity, reduced focus, inattention and sitting still. According to the lead researcher, smartphones trigger these symptoms because the devices serve as temporary distractions. However, the lead researcher stressed that ADHD is not a mere collection of symptoms, but is a completely separate psychological condition that has biological causes. (Related: Learn more about the latest discoveries in mental health at Mind.news)
“We found the first experimental evidence that smartphone interruptions can cause greater inattention and hyperactivity – symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – even in people drawn from a nonclinical population…Our findings suggest neither that smartphones can cause ADHD nor that reducing smartphone notifications can treat ADHD.The findings simply suggest that our constant digital stimulation may be contributing to an increasingly problematic deficit of attention in modern society,” said lead researcher Kostadin Kushlev in IBTimes.co.uk.
The findings were presented at last year’s Human-Computer Interaction conference in California. Follow more news on the biological health effects of EMFs at EMF.news.