Research Review of Adolescent mental health in the digital age

Candice L. Odgers and Michaeline R. Jensen with a review of data from three sources: (a) narrative reviews and meta‐analyses conducted between 2014 and 2019, (b) large‐scale preregistered cohort studies and (c) intensive longitudinal and ecological momentary assessment studies.

Their goal is to summarize what is known about linkages between digital technology usage and adolescent mental health, with a specific focus on depression and anxiety.

The review highlights that most research to date has been correlational, focused on adults versus adolescents, and has generated a mix of often conflicting small positive, negative and null associations. The most recent and rigorous large‐scale preregistered studies report small associations between the amount of daily digital technology usage and adolescents’ well‐being that do not offer a way of distinguishing cause from effect and, as estimated, are unlikely to be of clinical or practical significance.

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About the author

Ian O'Byrne

Dr. W. Ian O’Byrne is a educator, researcher, & speaker. His work centers on teaching, learning, and technology. He investigates the literacy practices of individuals as they read, write, and communicate in online & hybrid spaces.

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