Cell Phone Use Linked To Teen Depression

August 8, 2018

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A study published in Clinical Psychological Science, found that increases in suicide, suicide attempts and depression were found in teens from every background including races, ethnicities and social class. Researchers found between 2010-2015, the number of U.S. teens who felt useless and joyless increased by 33%. Teen suicide attempts grew by 23%. And the actual number of 13-18 year olds who successfully committed suicide jumped to 31%.

Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, links that increase back to the introduction of the smart phone. "Not only did smartphone use and depression increase in tandem, but time spent online was linked to mental health issues across two different data sets. We found that teens who spent five or more hours a day online were 71 percent more likely than those who spent less than an hour a day to have at least one suicide risk factor (depression, thinking about suicide, making a suicide plan or attempting suicide). Overall, suicide risk factors rose significantly after two or more hours a day of time online.

A school in France banned cell phones four year ago, and discovered the kids are actually happier. "Students are talking and playing more at recess; the youngsters are active and engaged on school field trips, rather than staring at screens; and they say that they are closer with their friends as a result of conversing more with each other."