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Less Screen = Happier Teenager, Report Says

Less Screen = Happier Teenager, Report Says

By    |   Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:30 AM

Less screen time on computers could lead to happier teenagers according to a study published Monday that used a large national survey conducted annually, The Washington Post reported.

The study, published in the medical journal Emotion, looked at eighth graders, high school sophomores and seniors who were involved in a University of Michigan survey regarding social media, the Post said.

The study found that self-esteem, life satisfaction, and happiness among adolescents nose-dived after 2012, the year smartphone ownership reached 50 percent in the United States, the Post wrote.

The study found that that adolescents' psychological well-being decreased the more hours a week they spent on screens, including the internet, social media, texting, gaming, and video chats, the Post wrote.

The findings collated with earlier studies that linked frequent screen use and teenage depression and anxiety, the newspaper said.

Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and the study's lead author, is the author of "iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood."

She called the relationship of screen and non-screen activities "zero sum" – if you are doing one, it takes time away from the others, the Post wrote.

"These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming," Twenge said in November about another study that looked at questionnaire data from more than 500,000 United States teens in two anonymous, nationally representative surveys that have been conducted since 1991.

That study also looked at suicide statistics kept by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously," she added.

The latest study showed that the happiest teens were those who were above average in face-to-face social interaction time and below average in social media use, the Post stated.

Amanda Lenhart, deputy director of the Better Life Lab at New America who has conducted studies on teenagers and screen use, told the newspaper that while the study is interesting, it was still difficult to separate social media screen time from other stress factors that may be affecting teenagers' happiness.

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The psychological well-being of teenagers decreases as the amount of time they spend on electronic devices increases, according to a new study.
less, screen, happier, teenager
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:30 AM
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