Links between adolescent screen times, aggression, and emotional problems: research

After analyzing 87 studies published between 1960 and 2021, Canadian researchers found a “weak but important” link between screen time and behavioral problems such as aggression in children. Did.

team Analyzed 87 eligible studies From 595 articles, a total of more than 159,000 participants under the age of 12 found a link between adolescent screen time and externalized and internalized behavioral problems.

“The effect size (strength of the relationship) found in this study was small, but the results of screen time at the population level are probably meaningful,” wrote the author, led by Sherimadigan.

Externalization of behavioral problems It manifests itself in the child’s outward behavior by adversely affecting the external environment, such as aggression, attention deficit, and hyperactivity.on the other hand Internalize behavioral problems It affects mood and emotions such as anxiety and depression.

Overall, the team said this relationship was important, but comparable to the results of other “meta-analysis of the relationship between screen time and children’s language skills and academic performance.”

However, they knew that there was a strong link between behavioral and emotional issues, especially with regard to aggression, between screen time and behavioral issues.

Boys, in particular, were more associated with externalization issues and screen time than girls.

The authors speculate that the strong relationship between externalization issues and screen time may be due to children being exposed to inappropriate content such as violence and aggression during screen time. did.

“Children have the potential to become insensitive after repeated exposure and model content that is offensive or violent against others. In addition, as screen times become more normalized, one Offensive behavior within the department’s screen programming can occur as well, “the author writes.

Nonetheless, the team also reasoned that external problems may be easier to observe than internalization problems for researchers who are “less sensitive to identify internalization problems.”

In addition, older studies found a strong relationship between behavioral problems and screen time, which decreased “as the quality of the study improved” and as the study became more recent.

this is, Decline effectScientific claims tend to receive less support over time, saying, “As screens are normalized in childhood and modern culture, the risks associated with their use are less important to children’s behavioral problems. It could disappear, “the author speculated.

Nonetheless, the team also took into account that their research only focused broadly on screen time and did not look at “subtle aspects of screen time.”

Other factors such as screen content, context (passive or collaborative display), and purpose (education or entertainment) can all limit the effectiveness of their research.

This study excluded studies conducted during COVID-19 due to increased screening time and mental distress during the pandemic, but the team said that “a cohort of children is growing during the pandemic.” I observed. Impact on development.

Dr. Lisa Mandy of the Australian Family Research Institute (AIFS) told The Epoch Times: [to negative impacts] They are heavily influenced by their peers and have developed a strong self-consciousness over the last few years. “

She reiterated concerns and screen times about the impact of Madigan and co-author COVID-19, stating that “the debate about the impact of modern media on child development is more important than ever,” from the age of six. I am conducting a study showing children up to 12 years old. Report an increase in screen time of at least 50% Concerns that could adversely affect physical and mental health.

However, Mandy said, “The most important focus for parents, teachers and educational systems should be on the type of media used.”

“This can lead to better results,” if the kids use it to create content, connect with us, and contribute to discussions.

“There are some new studies that suggest that social media may be beneficial to school-aged children if it focuses on education, works with school work, and promotes collaborative learning. “

“The COVID-19 pandemic enhances digital literacy in schools,” she said, “this gives us the opportunity to take advantage of school screen time to support sound learning and development.” Screentime provides an “active role in education.”

“The challenge for educators is to actively minimize and mitigate potential risks while promoting positive aspects,” she said.

Marina Chan


Marina Chan is based in Melbourne and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]