Research shows concerns about ‘screen addiction’ or mental health problems in teens are exaggerated

According tomedia CNET, thanks to the popularity of smartphones, today’s teenagers are so keen on social media use. This has led many experts to wonder whether the resulting “screen addiction” can lead to a surge in depression and other mental health problems. A study published on Friday suggests that such concerns may be exaggerated.

Research shows concerns about 'screen addiction' or mental health problems in teens are exaggerated

The New York Times first reported a study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry that looked at the link between social media use and depression and anxiety in adolescents. The conclusion is that this kind of association has not been established in academic research.

“The review highlights that, to date, most studies have been relevant, primarily for adults and adolescents, and have produced small positive, negative, and zero-relationships that often conflict with each other,” said the team, led by Candice Odgers, a professor at the University of California, Irvine.

Odgers is also the author of a study published in the August issue of Clinical Psychological Science, which showed that the amount of time teenagers spend on their phones and time spent online is not bad. According to UCI News, the study tracked teen spending on using digital technology to test whether more time spent using digital technology was associated with poor mental health outcomes and found “little evidence of vertical or routine connections.”

“Maybe it’s time for adults to stop arguing about whether smartphones and social media are good for the mental health of teenagers and start looking for ways to best support them offline and online,” Says Odgers. “