Smartphones: the new teen mental health crisis?
Have smartphones destroyed a generation?” A new book out by a San Diego State University psychology professor argues that those born after 1995 are on the “brink of a mental-health crisis” — and she believes it can be linked to growing up with their noses pressed against a screen.
Her newest study, in the book “iGen,” provides more backing to that connection, showing that teens who spent more than an hour or two a day interacting with their gadgets were less happy on average than those who had more face time with others. The research was published today in Emotion, a journal by the American Psychological Association.
The study — which drew from a survey of hundreds of thousands of teens across the US — also found that roughly 13% of eighth- and tenth-graders who spent 1 to 2 hours a week on social media said they were “not happy.”
For those who responded 10 to 19 hours per week, that number was about 18%. For those who spent 40 or more hours a week using social media, that number approached 24%.
By the twelfth grade, however, the negative correlations between screen time and teen psychology had somewhat dissipated. In addition, less is not always more: Teens with zero hours of screen time had higher rates of unhappiness than their peers who logged in a few hours a week.
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