Excessive Internet Use Tied to More Absences for Teens

Longer nightly sleep, more physical activity, trusting relationship with parents were protective factors for unexcused, medical absences
Excessive Internet Use Tied to More Absences for Teens
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, April 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Excessive internet use is associated with an increased risk for both unexcused and medical absences from school among teenagers, according to a study published online April 16 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Silja Kosola, M.D., Ph.D., from Western Uusimaa Wellbeing Services County in Espoo, Finland, and colleagues evaluated the associations of excessive internet use, short sleep duration, and low physical activity (PA) with both unexcused absences and medical absences during lower secondary school. The analysis included 86,270 participants (mean age, 15.3 years) in the 2019 School Health Promotion study.

The researchers found that 34.7 percent of participants slept less than eight hours per night during the school week and 34.3 percent reported low PA (i.e., less than three days per week with minimum one hour of PA per day). There were associations for excessive internet use, short sleep, and low PA with both unexcused absences and medical absences from school. There was no association between longer sleep during weekends and absences. Good parental relations showed the strongest protective association with both unexcused and medical absences.

"This has important implications for both the promotion of general health and the support offered to students with alarming school absences," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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