Smart Phones Not Damaging For Adolescents' Mental Health
A new study done by researchers
of University of California, Irvine has shown that adolescent exposure to smart
phones had not no adverse impact on their mental health.
The study was reported in Clinical Psychological Science and based on a survey of 2000 youths with a subcategory of 400 teenagers. The smart phone activity of these people were tracked for multiple times a day for two weeks. The adolescents in the study were 10-15 year olds attending schools in North Carolina.
The researchers collected reports of mental health symptoms from the adolescents three times a day and they also reported on their daily technology usage each night. They asked whether youth who engaged more with digital technologies were more likely to experience later mental health symptoms and whether days that adolescents spent more time using digital technology for a wide range of purposes were also days when mental health problems were more common. In both cases, increased digital technology use was not related to worse mental health.
When associations were observed, they were small and in the opposite direction that would be expected given all of the recent concerns about digital technology damaging adolescents’ mental health. For instance, teens who reported sending more text messages over the study period actually reported feeling better (less depressed) than teens who were less frequent texters.