网聊有益健康

Teen Screentime

青少年会花很多时间在电子设备上,家长很担心,但是一项新研究发现,家长完全没有必要担心。使用社交媒体和数字化技术会导致非常严重的心理健康问题,比如抑郁症和轻生等。家长们听到的这种说法,才是真正的危险。加州大学尔湾分校的心理学教授坎蒂丝说。

问题在于,很多青少年使用社交媒体是和朋友沟通,获取健康相关的信息,如果不让他们用社交媒体,可能会适得其反。因此家长们听到的说法毫无科学根据。

坎蒂丝和同事调查了北卡罗来纳州四百名公立学校学生的电子设备使用情况,学生年龄十到十四岁不等,抽样覆盖了全美各个种族,社会经济地位也各不相同。研究人员发现,即使不算用电子设备做家庭作业的时间,学生平均每天也要花五六个小时使用电子设备。年纪越大,上网时间越长。所以学生上网时间都很长。

但是总体而言,我们发现,青少年使用电子设备上网的时间和抑郁症焦虑症等心理健康问题之间并无关联。我们反而意外地发现了另一些关联。我们发现爱网聊的青少年心理反而更健康。当然,需要声明的是,这种关联较弱。但是这也反映了最近多项研究的共同发现,那些线下经常与人互动的人,线上互动也更多,会更积极地使用信息技术和他人保持更为的密切沟通,同时心理也更健康。这项新研究发表在临床心理学期刊上。

那为什么还要担心使用电子设备时间过长呢。坎迪斯认为,过往的研究方法可能导致了错误的结论。直到现在为止,相关研究都存在一个问题,那就是,青少年都是在校生。让学生做调查,回忆自己过去六个月里上网频率多高,是否感到抑郁,这两者之间的关联性制造了一种恐慌,导致学生们认为使用社交媒体和患抑郁症之间存在因果联系。之所以有些青少年会患抑郁症,而有些不会,百分之九十九点五都是其它因素,并不在于他们的上网时间。

家长们经常听到各种建议,有些总是相互矛盾,但坎蒂丝的建议是,家长永远都可以从自己孩子那里获得信息。希望更多的家长听到我们的建议之后,放松一点,少担心孩子用手机,多抽时间跟他谈谈心。

原文

Kids spend a lot of time looking at screens. And some parents worry. But a new study argues against the apprehension parents may feel. “The danger is that they’re hearing a message that social media, digital technology use is causing very serious and harmful problems like depression, like suicide-related behaviors.”Candice Odgers, professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine.

“And the idea is that if you shut off social media, which lots of kids use to connect with each other, their friends, find out information about health, you could be making a situation worse. Parents are really being sent a message that is not supported by anything scientifically.”

Odgers and her colleagues looked at the screen-related behavior of 400 public-school students in North Carolina ages 10 to 14. This group was picked as a representative sample of race and socioeconomic status for the entire U.S. The researchers found that—even not counting time doing schoolwork on screens—the kids spent between almost five hours to seven hours per day on their devices, with the older kids online the most. That’s a lot of hours, but:

“Overall, what we find is no connection between the amount of time that young people spend online using digital technologies and mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety. When we do find associations, they were actually quite surprising to us. We found that young people who sent more text messages actually reported better mental health. Now, again, this was a small association, but it reflects what other people have found: that people who are very connected off-line, that use technology in the positive ways to stay connected often, are more connected online as well and experiencing better mental health.” The new study is in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

So why the fears about screen time? Odgers argues that the methodologies for older studies may have led to false conclusions. “One of the issues with the research that’s been done to date has been that youth are, you know, in school. They have a survey put in front of them, and they’re asked to recall, over the past six months, ‘How often are you online?’ and ‘Have you ever felt depressed?’ And the correlation between those two things has been used to spread a lot of fear around this connection between social media use and things like depression—99.5 percent of the reasons that kids differ in their depression is due to something other than the time they spend online.”

Parents get a lot of advice, and some of it always seems to conflict. But Odgers suggests there’s one place you can always go to get information. “The hope is that more parents will hear this message and relax and spend kind of less time worrying about smartphones and more time just talking to their kids.”

发表评论