short term, new research suggests, using digital technology
can help kids prone to mental health problems keep depression
and anxiety at bay.
time, however, researchers concluded that more tech use is
linked to attention, self-regulation and behavior problems for
those adolescents at risk for mental health issues.
University study published May 3 in an issue of Child
Development, finds that even though adolescents reported
feeling slightly better on days when they were using
technology that their behavior problems increased.
experience more conduct problems and higher ADHD symptoms
compared to days they use technology less," lead author
Madeleine J. George told EurekaAlert, a publication of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science.
research examined a potential relationship between adolescents’
mental health and time spent texting, on social media or the
queried 151 young adolescents, somewhat ironically, through
surveys on their smartphones.
asked about their digital technology use three times a day for
a month. A year and a half later, the same 11- to 15-year-olds
underwent mental health assessments.
kids averaged 2.3 hours a day using digital technologies,
including an hour sending an average of 41 texts.
of heavy use, their likelihood of fighting, lying or
displaying symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity
researchers said it was unclear whether the tech use drove the
problems, or was just another symptom — the classic
causation or correlation mystery.
that they reported better moods on days when they were using
digital technology more, the researchers said, might indicate
that their gadgets allow them to make more social connections
and feel stronger ties to their peers.