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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies

Amy Orben, Andrew K Przybylski
Psychological Science 2019 April 2, : 956797619830329
30939250
The notion that digital-screen engagement decreases adolescent well-being has become a recurring feature in public, political, and scientific conversation. The current level of psychological evidence, however, is far removed from the certainty voiced by many commentators. There is little clear-cut evidence that screen time decreases adolescent well-being, and most psychological results are based on single-country, exploratory studies that rely on inaccurate but popular self-report measures of digital-screen engagement. In this study, which encompassed three nationally representative large-scale data sets from Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom ( N = 17,247 after data exclusions) and included time-use-diary measures of digital-screen engagement, we used both exploratory and confirmatory study designs to introduce methodological and analytical improvements to a growing psychological research area. We found little evidence for substantial negative associations between digital-screen engagement-measured throughout the day or particularly before bedtime-and adolescent well-being.

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Patrick Lockwood wrote:

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This is somewhat surprising.

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