Screen time has little effect on teenagers’ mental health, despite fears about the impact late-night gaming or TV viewing is having on the world’s youth, a new study has concluded.
Scientists at the University of Oxford used data on more than 17,000 children from across Ireland, the UK and the US, mainly comprising teenagers but with some as young as eight.
They found screens were not related to the wellbeing of children using devices for hours during the day, and even if those using them just before going to sleep.
The team said they hoped their “clear-cut evidence” would counter misleading media reports and public debates about the dangers of screen time, and help calm anxious parents.
“While psychological science can be a powerful tool for understanding the link between screen use and adolescent wellbeing, it still routinely fails to supply stakeholders and the public with high-quality, transparent and objective investigations into growing concerns about digital technologies,” said Professor Andrew Przybylski, who co-authored the new study.
Their research, published in the journal Psychological Science, comes amid speculation that “blue light” from devices is harmful and can disrupt sleep.
Read the whole story: Independent