Study suggests little to no increase over time in association between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health problems
A new Oxford University study examined data from over 430,000 adolescents to investigate how associations between adolescents’ technology use and mental health have changed over the past 30 years.
The Oxford researchers investigated the links between social media use and depression, emotional problems and conduct problems. Researchers also examined the associations between television viewing and suicidality as well as depression, emotional problems and conduct problems. In addition, the study explored digital device use and suicidality.
The study found little evidence for increases in associations between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health. Over the eight associations studied, only three indicated some change over time: Social media use and television viewing had become less strongly associated with depression, but, on the other hand, social media’s association with emotional problems had increased. The observed changes over time were, however, small. Consistent changes in technology engagement’s associations with conduct problems or suicidality were not detected.