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Excessive screen use and youth mental health

Educational Resources

In today’s world, avoiding digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, televisions, computers, and gaming systems can be challenging.

Although screens can provide entertainment and education, excessive use can lead to problems, especially for children and teens.

In the United States, children between the ages of 8 and 12 spend an average of 4 to 6 hours daily using screens, while teenagers spend up to 9 hours. There is no magic number that is right for all children, but hours spent looking at screens that are absent of educational content can increase the probability of a child being exposed to damaging content that is harmful and disruptive to their mental health.

Youth who spend more time on digital technology are more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, social anxiety, and other issues, according to a recent study conducted by the Yale Department of Psychiatry and Columbia School of Nursing,

Creating a balance between device usage and activities essential to maintaining well-being—adequate sleep, connecting with friends and family, engaging in physical activity—helps establish healthy behaviors and allows adults to notice if their child is being negatively affected by screen time.

Reducing children’s screen time can be helpful, but it will not solve their mental health issues if they are experiencing any. While screen time can contribute to a decline in a child’s mental health, it can also be a symptom of an underlying mental health problem.

Rosecrance can help you determine what steps to take for children struggling with their mental health. As a leading behavioral health expert, Rosecrance offers various services for teens and adolescents—call 888.928.5278 to explore your options.

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