Sleep Interference Effects of Pathological Electronic Media Use during Adolescence

Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro, Tara Zwaans, Dean Kaptsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Adolescents increasingly use electronic media as a night-time activity, amid concerns about the potential negative impact on sleep and daytime functioning. The present study examined electronic media use and pathological media use in relation to sleep activity in a normative sample of Australian adolescents. A total of 1,287 high school students aged 12-18 years (50 % female) were recruited from seven secondary schools in South Australia. Adolescents completed a questionnaire assessing electronic media use, pathological media use, and sleep factors. Adolescents reported non-optimal sleep duration on weekday (71 %) and weekend nights (53 %). One in five adolescents reported nightly bedtime delay as a consequence of electronic media use. Adolescent pathological media users reported significantly more sleep problems than their non-pathological peers. These data contribute to current knowledge of how electronic media use may negatively affect adolescent sleep patterns, particularly in regard to sleep displacement and sleep-onset latency effects. Further research is needed in light of the increasing accessibility and uptake of portable electronic media devices, as well as the growing use of media as a sleeping aid, among young people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Internet
  • Media
  • Sleep
  • Video-gaming


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