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Fewer Books, More Music Means Rising Depression in Teens

Can reading more books prevent depression in young people? A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study suggests just that.Adolescents who spend more time reading are much less likely to have depressive disorders than their peers, especially those peers who choose to listen to lots of music. This study was one of the first to measure media exposure using an intensive “real-life” methodology called ecological momentary assessment, in which the behavior of study participants was repeatedly sampled in real time. One hundred six participants took part in this study, 46 of whom were diagnosed with major depressive disorder. To monitor the students’ emotional health, the researchers called the participants as many as sixty times during five extended weekends over two months and asked them to report which of the following six media they were using: television or movies, music, video games, Internet, magazines or newspapers, or books.The researchers found that young people who were exposed to the most music were 8.3 times more likely to be depressed than those who listened to music the least. In contrast …

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