What Comes First: Depression In Teens Or Emo Music?

Interesting exploration of correlation vs. causation, on a topic that will likely appeal to freshmen.

They called 106 teenagers on special cellphones as many as 60 times over eight weeks and asked what they were doing. About half of the teens had been diagnosed with clinical depression by a psychiatrist.

When called, the teenagers reported that they were watching TV or movies 26 percent of the time.

Previous research had put some numbers on what most of us already knew: Teenagers spend an enormous amount of time consuming various media. Try 7.5 hours a day watching TV, surfing the Web, texting, and MP3 listening. It seems plausible the media habits could affect on health.

And, in fact, earlier studies have found a relationship between TV-watching and depression, with teenagers who watch a lot of TV more likely to be depressed as young adults.

The big surprise in the new study is that once the numbers were crunched, there wasn’t a big correlation with depression and TV. Instead, it was music that matched with depression. — What Comes First: Depression In Teens Or Emo Music? (NPR)