The next time your kid lies to you, fights with his/ her sibling or shows signs of behavioural problems with friends, don’t blame him/ her. Blame the smartphones that you have given to the child.
Excess use of smartphones and other electronic devices can lead to attention, behaviour and self-regulation problems for adolescents already at risk for mental health issues. Researchers from US-based Duke University analysed 151 adolescents who completed surveys on smartphones about their daily digital technology use.
Three times a day for a month, participants were surveyed and assessed for mental health symptoms 18 months later. Adolescents spent an average of 2.3 hours a day using digital technologies with an hour plus of that time spent texting, with the participants sending an average of 41 texts a day.
It was found that on the days when adolescents used their devices more – both when they exceeded their own normal use and when they exceeded average use by their peers – they were more likely to experience conduct problems such as lying, fighting and other behavioural problems. Additionally, on days when adolescents used digital devices more, they had difficulty paying attention and exhibited attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Researchers also noted the adolescents were already at an increased risk for mental health problems regardless of digital device use.