Summary of Smartphones Are Bad for Some Teens, Not All

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Parents worry about their teenagers’ heavy use of smartphones and social media. Psychology and social behavioral professor Candice Odgers provides balanced evidence in Nature magazine. Recent studies show a much more nuanced picture of the technology’s effect on teens. getAbstract recommends her article to parents who want to help their teens use technology in life-enhancing ways.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What new research has uncovered about the effects of “screen time” among adolescents;
  • How those effects vary among teens depending on their background; and
  • How new digital screening tools can help.
 

About the Author

Candice Odgers is a professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine.

 

Summary

Parents worry about the time that their adolescents spend on their mobile devices.

In the United States, almost half of all 11 year olds and 85% of 14 year olds own a mobile phone. US teens on average spend about 6.5 hours per day on digital screens. More than 90% of US adolescents use the internet daily to communicate and share their everyday lives with friends and family.

Early studies found that the more time teens spent online, the likelier they were to develop depression and anxiety.

Several studies from 1990s and 2000s found that teenagers who spent more time online...


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