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Teens, Tech, and Mental Health: Study Finds No Link

group of people holding cellphones

A study from the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge finds little evidence for an increased association between adolescents' technology engagement and mental health problems over the past 30 years.

"There Is No Evidence That Associations Between Adolescents' Digital Technology Engagement and Mental Health Problems Have Increased" is published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

The study investigated the links between social media, television, and digital technology usage and suicidality, depression, and other mental health problems.

Of the associations examined, social media use and television viewing became less strongly associated with depression. In contrast, social media's association with emotional problems increased slightly. The study found no consistent changes in technology engagement's associations with conduct problems or suicidality.

"Asmore data accumulates on adolescents' use of emerging technologies, our knowledge of themand their effects on mental health will become more precise," says Andrew Przybylski, director of research at Oxford Internet Institute. "It's too soon todrawfirm conclusions about the increasing, or declining, associations between social media andadolescent mental health."

From Association for Psychological Science
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