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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter May 11, 2023

Screen time and childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis

  • Hezuo Liu , Xiaorong Chen , Minhui Huang , Xiaomin Yu , Ye Gan , Ji Wang , Qiujin Chen , Zhipeng Nie and Haijing Ge EMAIL logo



The association between screen time and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been controversial. This study sheds light on the contentious correlation between screen time and ADHD.


Until August 2022, electronic searches of the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases were carried out. The combined effect value odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) were calculated for the meta-analysis using Stata 12.0. There were 81,234 children in the nine studies that made up this meta-analysis which included 28,997 children with ADHD and 52,237 healthy controls. When compared with the screen time <2  h/d, the OR (95 % CI) value of screen time and ADHD in the screen time ≥2 h/d group was 1.51 (1.20–1.90).

Summary and outlook

Based on the current meta-analysis results, our study found a positive correlation between screen time and the risk of ADHD. Excessive screen exposure may significantly contribute to the development of ADHD in children. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce screen time per day in children to prevent the occurrence of ADHD.

Corresponding author: Haijing Ge, Ninghai Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Ningbo, China, E-mail:


The author wish to acknowledge the staff of Child Health Department of Ninghai maternal and child health hospital and Dr. Dan Xiong for supporting this systematic review.

  1. Author contribution: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  2. Conflicts of interest: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

  3. Financial disclosure: None.

  4. Ethical approval: An ethics statement is not applicable because this study is based exclusively on published literature.


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Received: 2022-12-27
Accepted: 2023-04-24
Published Online: 2023-05-11

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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