According to a recent study initiated at the University of California – Irvine, there is no connection between the excessive use of digital devices and the mental health of young adults.
Several faculty members from the psychology department decided to perform a study, as digital devices and online presence are often blamed for mental health problems among young adults and teenagers.
The researchers are Candice Odgers, professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine; Michaeline Jensen, assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Madeleine George, a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University; and Michael Russell, assistant professor of behavioral health at Pennsylvania State University. The study was published in Clinical Psychological Science.
According to Michaeline Jensen, assistant professor of psychology, there is no proof of a direct connection between the time spent online or on a smartphone, and the stability of teenagers’ mental health.
For researchers, the most important conclusion of the study is that adults should be thinking of ways to get used to the modern world and start accepting their children’s use of digital devices and online services.
Technology – a good or bad influence?
The debate for the effects of technology on young adults has been ongoing for more than two decades; however, there is now conclusive evidence that the time spent online is not directly linked with mental health problems.
Some reports are stating that videogames and scenes involving violence are making young adults commit more violent crimes; however, this has not been proven either. For example, violence rates in Japan are low, while young adults, there are some of the biggest videogame fans.
It is understandable that technology is a relatively new phenomenon in the daily lives of adults; however, children and teenagers were born with technology all around them. Considering the abundance of electronic devices, it shouldn’t be surprising that children nowadays are spending a lot more time in the digital world.
It is good that studies like the one performed at the University of California disprove common beliefs, and prove that there is no correlation between mental health risks and extensive use of digital devices and online services.