Screen Time Has Little Effect on Teen Wellbeing, New Study Finds

The debate about the effect on screen time on teenager wellbeing has long been ongoing. A new Oxford University study published in April shows that screen time causes no psychological harm to young individuals.

Presented in the Journal of Psychological Science, the study focused on the habits of 17,000 teenagers from the US, UK and Ireland. Using a device before going to bed had no impact on the psychological wellbeing of teenagers. General screen time had very little effect in comparison to other studied activities.

According to the researchers, the effect was so small that teenagers had to increase their daily screen time by at least 63 hours to start seeing a negative result.

The study relied on self-reported screen time to draw its conclusions. In addition, researchers used information from previous studies carried out between 2011 and 2016. The second set of data was used as a corrective measure since teenagers tend to underestimate the amount of time they spend on a phone, computer or tablet.

Parents and researchers have long been trying to determine whether screen time is bad for kids. A previous study financed by the National Institute of Health in the US and involving 11,000 children suggested that a lot of screen time contributed to a significant reduction in aptitude test scores. In addition, screen time led to cortical thinning in children and adolescents –a process that could affect IQ and development negatively.

This study isn’t the only one that reached a negative conclusion.

Earlier in 2018, San Diego University and University of Georgia researchers concluded that one hour of screen time per day diminished curiosity, emotional stability and self-control in children and teens.

Cambridge University researchers discovered a link between found out that internet browsing and computer games lower GCSE grades.

According to the research team that completed the latest study, previous trials suffered from an excess of opinion in comparison to data. The robust analysis suggests that the effect on the general population is negligible and cannot be considered a public health problem.

Researchers, however, did say excessive use in individual cases could lead to harmful consequences. Families should follow health and wellbeing guidelines to make sure children and teenagers are getting the most of their devices without putting themselves at risk.