Research Indicates Increased Screen Time Not Negatively Affecting Adolescents Mental Health
The researchers studied data on more than 430,000 adolescents from the UK and US to find out whether spending more time using technology was linked to mental health, emotional or behavioral problems. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
An Oxford University study has indicated that increased screen time on social media, television and smartphones is not adversely affecting teenager’s mental health. Recent growth in digital entertainment and more time spent at home has led to parent’s and experts expressing concerns for young people’s wellbeing.
The researchers, who studied data on more than 430,000 adolescents from the UK and US, wanted to find out whether spending more time using technology was linked to mental health, emotional or behavioral problems and were also interested in whether watching more television had an effect on these mental health conditions or led to suicidal thoughts.
They found that there was ‘little evidence’ to suggest associations between young people’s use of technology and their mental health. In addition, the data also showed no significant evidence to suggest that changes to platforms and devices in the past ten years have meant they are any more harmful to young people’s social health.
“These results don’t mean that technology is all good for teens, or all bad, or getting worse for teenagers or not. Even with some of the larger data sets available to scientists, it is difficult conclusively to determine the roles of technologies in young people’s lives, and how their impacts might change over time. If we want to understand the relationship between tech and well-being today, we need to first go back and look at historic data, as far back as when parents were concerned too much TV would give their kids square eyes, in order to bring the contemporary concerns we have about newer technologies into focus.”
Dr Matti Vuorre, Oxford Internet Institute
Despite this latest study indicating that adolescent mental health was not significantly associated with using technology, researchers warned against making confident conclusions based on the findings, pointing out that clearer patterns would emerge over time as more data linked to young people’s use of emerging technologies and their effects on their mental health was made more available by the platforms themselves.
If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, we can help you. Visit our Help Center or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to open Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
To learn more about Cybersmile and our work, please explore the following recommendations:
- Who Are Cybersmile?
- People We’ve Helped
- Cybersmile Education Program
- TikTok Star Holly H Announced As Official Cybersmile Ambassador
- Cybersmile Campaign And Activity Highlights From 2020
- Liverpool & England Star Jordan Henderson and Cybersmile team up for ‘People Not Profiles’ Anti-Cyberbullying Campaign
- Cybersmile And Nerds Team Up To Launch Nerds World Within Nintendo’s Animal Crossing
- Renowned U.K. Doctor And Wellbeing Expert Dr Radha Modgil Joins Cybersmile Advisory Panel
- Cybersmile And Instagram Announce ‘Banter or Bullying? No Offence’ Report And Campaign
- Cybersmile Unveil New Website and Brand Identity for Stop Cyberbullying Day
- TikTok Announce New Feature to Combat Cyberbullying and Abuse
- Instagram Announce New Changes to Protect Users from Abuse
- Cybersmile, Instagram and Cosmopolitan Reunite to Unveil The Positivity Index 2021
- Twitch Introduce New Tools And Guidelines To Tackle Hate Speech And Harassment
- Experts Issue Doomscrolling Warning With Increasing Concerns For Mental Health
- Cybersmile Launch Interactive Learning Modules Focused On Getting The Most From Instagram
- Cybersmile Publish National Digital Wellbeing 2020 Report Focussing On Young People’s Technology-Related Wellbeing
- Twitter Announce New Feature To Tackle Misinformation After Successful Trial
- Cybersmile Launch ‘Think Twice before You Type’ Campaign To Mark Safer Internet Day
- Snapchat Announce The Launch Of Snap Minis To Offer Mental Health Support To Users
- Instagram And Facebook Announce Ban On All Content Promoting LGBT Conversion Therapy
- Cybersmile Help Center
- Managing An Eating Disorder During Lockdown
- Facebook And Instagram Announce New Focus To Combat Racism Online
- Cybersmile Announce Brandon Hendrickson As Official Cybersmile Ambassador
- The Cybersmile Conversation (Allow a few seconds to load, but worth the wait!)
- Cybersmile Experiences 900% Increase In People Seeking Help For Chatroulette Related Issues
- Cybersmile Offers Free Digital Education And Support In Response To Coronavirus Crisis
- How To Stay Positive During Lockdown And Self-Isoloation
- Cybersmile Campaigns
- What We Do
- Cybersmile Gaming
- New Report Shows Rise In Severe Cases Of Online Harassment
- Cybersmile Publishes National Millennial And Gen Z Study Of Attitudes And Perspectives Toward Social Media Platforms
- Snapchat Announce New Mental Health Intervention Feature
- Gaming Help Center
- Study Links Negative Effects Of Cyberbullying With Serious Mental Health Problems Among Young People
- Understanding Social Media And Mental Health
- Corporate Partnership Program
- Cybersmile Newsroom
- Become A Cybersmile Sustainer