Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Elena Pujals points out the link between ADHD and excessive screen time in childhood

Professional at the Support - University Clinic of Psychology and Psychiatry at UIC Barcelona and professor of the Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, warns that screens are not recommended during in the first years of life because brain development is extremely active in these first years of a child’s life 

As part of the International Day of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the Support Clinic psychiatrist Elena Pujals raised the issue of the relationship between this disorder and excessive screen time during childhood.

The psychology lecturer also explained that ADHA is a neurodevelopmental disorder and has a weighted heritability of 70%. In this regard, she pointed out that other factors also influence ADHA, such as problems that occur during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as environmental factors, such as suffering violence or abuse during childhood.

According to the specialist, 6.8% of children and adolescents in Spain currently suffer from ADHD. Pujals explained that in recent years, prevalence has remained stable, despite the fact that it seems that diagnoses have increased, which is linked to the fact that much more is being said now about neurodevelopment and learning disorders.

When diagnosing the disorder, the expert pointed out that in girls, diagnosis is usually made later, since they have a clinical profile in which hyperactivity and impulsivity are more mental or emotional; therefore they are less conflictive with the environment, have fewer behaviour disorders and do not usually ask for help. In this sense, early detection is extremely important to initiate a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach that allows ADHD complications to be minimised, such as school failure and dropout or other disorders such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse.

Pujals also pointed out that the warning signs that would lead to a diagnosis of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity, symptoms that continue in 30-50% of people when they are adults. The Support Clinic psychologist finds that there is still much work to be done to eliminate the stigma associated with this disorder.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)