Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time

ArticleinClinical Psychological Science 6(3):216770261772337 · November 2017with 1,444 Reads 
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Abstract
In two nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents in grades 8 through 12 (N = 506,820) and national statistics on suicide deaths for those ages 13 to 18, adolescents’ depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates increased between 2010 and 2015, especially among females. Adolescents who spent more time on new media (including social media and electronic devices such as smartphones) were more likely to report mental health issues, and adolescents who spent more time on nonscreen activities (in-person social interaction, sports/exercise, homework, print media, and attending religious services) were less likely. Since 2010, iGen adolescents have spent more time on new media screen activities and less time on nonscreen activities, which may account for the increases in depression and suicide. In contrast, cyclical economic factors such as unemployment and the Dow Jones Index were not linked to depressive symptoms or suicide rates when matched by year.

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  • ... Adolescent emotional wellbeing is a public health concern worldwide. Since the early 21st century, declines in adolescent emotional wellbeing (i.e., lower life satisfaction, more emotional symptoms, and more psychosomatic health complaints) have been observed in high-income countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, the UK, and the United States (Bor et al. 2014;Potrebny et al. 2017;Twenge et al. 2018). Important explanations of this decline in wellbeing include an increase in perfectionism among young people (Curran and Hill 2019) and increasing worries about schoolwork and about the future, such as the fear that they will not find a job or earn enough money for a living (e.g., The Children's Society 2017). ...
    ... Reports on strong declines in young people's wellbeing in some high-income countries, including Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom (Bor et al. 2014;Potrebny et al. 2017) and the United States (Mojtabai et al. 2016;Twenge et al. 2018) have raised societal alarms about young people's wellbeing worldwide. Yet, the generalisability of this decline across other high-income countries is not clear. ...
    ... When it comes to gender differences, this study found that trends over time in emotional wellbeing did not differ for boys and girls. This contradicts findings in some other European countries (Bor et al. 2014) and the United States (Twenge et al. 2018), where the decline in emotional wellbeing was stronger among girls, as compared to boys. While research is needed to understand why the gender gap in emotional wellbeing is increasing in some national contexts but not in others, it is important to underline that the topic of emotional wellbeing deserves attention for both genders. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    In some Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, there is evidence of a dramatic decline in adolescent emotional wellbeing, particularly among girls. It is not clear to what extent this decline can be generalised to other high-income countries. This study examines trends over time (2005-2009-2013-2017) in adolescent wellbeing in the Netherlands, a country where young people have consistently reported one of the highest levels of wellbeing across Europe. It also assesses parallel changes over time in perceived schoolwork pressure, parent-adolescent communication, and bullying victimization. Data were derived from four waves of the nationally representative, cross-sectional Dutch Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (N = 21,901; 49% girls; Mage = 13.78, SD = 1.25). Trends in emotional wellbeing (i.e., emotional symptoms, psychosomatic complaints, life satisfaction) were assessed by means of multiple regression analyses with survey year as a predictor, controlling for background variables. Emotional wellbeing slightly declined among adolescent boys and girls between 2009 and 2013. A substantial increase in perceived schoolwork pressure was associated with this decline in emotional wellbeing. Improved parent-adolescent communication and a decline in bullying victimization may explain why emotional wellbeing remained stable between 2013 and 2017, in spite of a further increase in schoolwork pressure. Associations between emotional wellbeing on the one hand and perceived schoolwork pressure, parent-adolescent communication, and bullying victimization on the other were stronger for girls than for boys. Overall, although increasing schoolwork pressure may be one of the drivers of declining emotional wellbeing in adolescents, in the Netherlands this negative trend was buffered by increasing support by parents and peers. Cross-national research into this topic is warranted to examine the extent to which these findings can be generalised to other high-income countries.
  • ... In comparison to older generations, they are lonelier and tend more often to suicide ideation and behavior (Twenge et al., 2019a;Twenge et al., 2019c). Enhanced use of online media might be a potential reason for the cohort differences (Twenge et al., 2018). In the U.S., many young adults and adolescents daily engage in online activities, such as browsing social platforms and playing online games (Twenge et al., 2019b). ...
    ... Based on findings from the U.S. that emphasized the increase of depression symptoms, psychological distress, and of online media use in younger cohorts (e.g., Twenge et al., 2018), in the current exploratory investigation, the focus was on the negative variables depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, as well as on online media use that was operationalized by gaming behavior and by use of social platforms. Moreover, considering that wellbeing is more than just the absence of psychopathological symptoms (World Health Organization, 2014), and following the dual-factor model of subjective well-being that highlights the importance to focus on negative and positive factors (Keyes, 2005), the variable positive mental health (PMH) was included. ...
    ... Results of the current study may shed light on potential cohort differences considering well-being and media use in Germany, and therefore enable first conclusions about the generalizability of the findings from the U.S. Additionally to the cohort trends, the relationship between the factors of well-being and media use will be considered. This may contribute to the investigation of the hypothesis (Twenge et al., 2018) that the decrease of well-being is significantly linked to the increase of online media use. ...
    Article
    Research from the U.S. described a decrease of subjective well-being and an increase of online media use in young adults today. The present study investigated whether similar trends occur in Germany. Data of overall 1985 university freshmen (four cohorts: 2016: N = 658, 2017: N = 333, 2018: N = 562, 2019: N = 432) were collected by online surveys in the years 2016 to 2019. The comparison of the four cohorts revealed a significant increase of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms, as well as of the use of social platforms from 2016 to 2019. In contrast, positive mental health (PMH) significantly decreased over the years. No significant changes of the gaming behavior were found. A slight significant positive relationship occurred between the negative variables of well-being and online media use. The association between PMH and online media use was significantly negative. Thus, cohort trends found in the U.S. can at least rudimentarily be replicated in Germany. Young adults in 2019 seem to have lower levels of well-being and to engage in more use of social platforms than older cohorts.
  • ... Despite mental health and well-being becoming an increasing public health priority in many Western countries, evidence for a decline in mental well-being among adolescents remains mixed. For example, increases over time in mental health problems (especially emotional symptoms) have been reported in Finland [5], England [3], Norway [7], the U.S. [8], Scotland [11], and Sweden [4], with all these studies reporting stronger declines for girls than boys. Conversely, other studies have found relatively stable trends in adolescent mental health in Canada [12], the Netherlands [13], and Norway [9]. ...
    ... Fundamental differences in the design, methodology (i.e., measurements), and period between these studies make it hard to compare their findings. Although most studies focused on the period before 2012, some more recent research [8] reported an especially steep decline in adolescent mental well-being after 2012. Using nationally representative samples of adolescents from 36 countries and employing standardized sampling and data collection methods across a 16-year time span, the present study offers a unique opportunity to explore cross-country variation in time trends in adolescent mental well-being. ...
    ... Overall, we found a small but significant increase in psychosomatic health complaints and no overall change in life satisfaction. Based on these two indicators, our findings do not provide evidence of a dramatic decline in adolescent mental well-being at a population level [8,42], as the effect size was rather small, and the different time trends trajectories for these two indicators of mental wellbeing suggest a more complex pattern. Over the same period, a small overall increase in perceived schoolwork pressure was also observed, and this explained a very small proportion of the increase in psychosomatic health complaints. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Purpose Previous research has shown inconsistent time trends in adolescent mental well-being, but potential underlying mechanisms for such trends are yet to be examined. This study investigates cross-national time trends in adolescent mental well-being (psychosomatic health complaints and life satisfaction) in mainly European countries and the extent to which time trends in schoolwork pressure explain these trends. Methods Data from 915,054 adolescents from 36 countries (50.8% girls; meanage = 13.54; standard deviationage = 1.63) across five Health Behaviour in School-aged Children surveys (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018) were included in the analyses. Hierarchical multilevel models estimated cross-national trends in adolescent mental well-being and schoolwork pressure. We also tested whether schoolwork pressure could explain these trends in mental well-being. Results A small linear increase over time in psychosomatic complaints and schoolwork pressure was found. No change in life satisfaction emerged. Furthermore, there was large cross-country variation in the prevalence of, and trends over time in, adolescent mental well-being and schoolwork pressure. Overall, declines in well-being and increases in schoolwork pressure were apparent in the higher income countries. Across countries, the small increase in schoolwork pressure over time partly explained the decline in psychosomatic health complaints. Conclusions Our findings do not provide evidence for substantial declines in mental well-being among adolescents. Yet, the small declines in mental well-being and increases in schoolwork pressure appear to be quite consistent across high-income countries. This calls for the attention of public health professionals and policy-makers. Country differences in trends in both adolescent mental well-being outcomes and schoolwork pressure were considerable, which requires caution regarding the cross-national generalization of national trends.
  • ... Furthermore, loneliness is associated with altered functional and structural brain connectivity. Loneliness is associated with increased circulating cortisol and twin/adoption studies also suggest that feelings of loneliness may be partially predetermined by genetics Socio-environmental Digital communication [136][137][138][139][140][141][142][143][144] Digital communication including the use of social media may either increase or decrease feelings of loneliness, depending on how and why they are being used Workplace [145][146][147][148][149][150][151] Loneliness at the workplace is associated with poorer workplace outcomes (i.e., from lower productivity, work satisfaction, to creativity) [21,25,36,37] Loneliness followed a bimodal, U-shaped distribution. Loneliness was most prevalent in young adults between the ages of 18 -25 years, plateaued in middle adulthood and peaked again at 65 years for older adults. ...
    ... The increased reliance on using digital tools to communicate with others, including smartphone applications, social media platforms, mobile messengers, and internet use in general, is of great interest to academics and the general public. This is logical given that there is evidence to indicate that more frequent internet use and excessive screen time has been found to be associ-ated with poorer mental health outcomes [136][137][138]. The use of digital communication may either pose as a barrier to or facilitate social interactions depending on how digital technology is used [139]. ...
    Article
    PurposeLoneliness is increasingly recognised as the next critical public health issue. A plausible reason for this concern may be related to emerging societal trends affecting the way we relate, communicate, and function in our social environment. In 2006, a prominent review of the clinical significance of loneliness was published. However, there has not been a comprehensive update on known and emerging risk factors and correlates of loneliness since then. Furthermore, there is no conceptual model that has been developed to better account for the complexity of loneliness and to inform the development of evidence-based solutions as we challenge the issues of the twenty-first century.Methods We reviewed the current literature to identify either known or emerging risk factors and correlates of loneliness since 2006. This includes new or known evidence on: (1) demography; (2) health, including physical health; mental health; cognitive health; brain, biology, and genetics; and (3) socio-environmental factors including digital communication and the workplace.ResultsWe synthesized the literature according to a new proposed conceptual model of loneliness which showed the interplay between known and emerging correlates and risk factors from demography, health, to socio-environmental factors. In the conceptual model of loneliness, we illustrated how solutions can be delivered and tailored to an individual based on their life circumstances and preferences.Conclusion We concluded by making specific recommendations in advancing our scientific understanding of loneliness. Our knowledge can only be deepened if we increase scientific rigour via accounting for confounding variables and using longitudinal, multi-disciplinary, and multiple methodologies in research. We also call for the rigorous evaluation of programs targeting loneliness.
  • ... Other than adolescents who merely show intense SMU by spending a lot of time on SMU, adolescents with problematic SMU typically have a diminished ability to regulate their SMU impulses, feel discomfort such as stress or anxiety when SMU is restricted, and have SMU on top of their mind constantly [6]. Research suggests that intense SMU is linked to lower mental [2,7,8], school [9], and social well-being [1] of adolescents. Moreover, problematic SMU is also associated with lower adolescent well-being [10]. ...
    ... By highlighting that the relationship between intense SMU and adolescent well-being depends on the well-being indicator and the national context, our results challenge the notion that intense SMU is related to lower well-being [1,2,8]. Our result support findings from systematic reviews showing that SMU can be positively and negatively associated with well-being [44,45]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Purpose This study examined (1) whether intense and problematic social media use (SMU) were independently associated with adolescent well-being; (2) whether these associations varied by the country-level prevalence of intense and problematic SMU; and (3) whether differences in the country-level prevalence of intense and problematic SMU were related to differences in mobile Internet access. Methods Individual-level data came from 154,981 adolescents (meanage = 13.5) from 29 countries that participated in the 2017/2018 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey. Intense SMU was measured by the time spent on social media, whereas problematic SMU was defined by symptoms of addiction to social media. Mental (life satisfaction and psychological complaints), school (school satisfaction and perceived school pressure), and social (family support and friend support) well-being were assessed. Country-level data came from aggregated individual-level data and data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Internet access. Results Two-level regression analyses indicated that in countries with a lower prevalence of intense SMU, intense users reported lower levels of life satisfaction and family support and more psychological complaints than nonintense users. In contrast, in countries with a higher prevalence of intense SMU, intense users reported higher levels of family support and life satisfaction than nonintense users, and similar levels of psychological complaints. In all countries, intense users reported more friend support than nonintense users. The findings regarding problematic SMU were more consistent: In all countries, problematic users reported lower well-being on all domains than nonproblematic users. Observed differences in country-level prevalence rates of intense and problematic SMU could not be explained by mobile Internet access. Conclusions Adolescents reporting problematic SMU are particularly at risk of lower well-being. In many countries, intense SMU may be a normative adolescent behavior that contributes positively to specific domains of their well-being.
  • ... The question of what consequences this development has on individuals' well-being has spurred dozens of research papers. Some investigations have often painted a rather gloomy picture of social media, making it responsible for loneliness, depression, and even raising suicide rates in adolescents (for a recent example, see Twenge et al., 2018). These findings have led the media to adopt such terms as Facebook depression, raising the alarm in parents and the general public (Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011) and making governments consider interventions to curtail the harmful consequences of social media use (UK Commons Select Committees, 2019). ...
    ... Social media are often criticized as a driving force behind the current depression epidemics (Twenge et al., 2018). Yet the empirical evidence supporting the harmful effect of social media use on individuals has been based on predominantly crosssectional data, while the few existing longitudinal studies provided mixed results. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Social networking sites (SNS) are frequently criticized as a driving force behind rising depression rates. Yet empirical studies exploring the associations between SNS use and well-being have been predominantly cross-sectional, while the few existing longitudinal studies provided mixed results. We examined prospective associations between SNS use and multiple indicators of well-being in a nationally representative sample of Dutch adults ( N ∼ 10,000), comprising six waves of annual measures of SNS use and well-being. We used an analytic method that estimated prospective effects of SNS use and well-being while also estimating time-invariant between-person associations between these variables. Between individuals, SNS use was associated with lower well-being. However, within individuals, year-to-year changes in SNS use were not prospectively associated with changes in well-being (or vice versa). Overall, our analyses suggest that the conclusions about the causal impact of social media on rising mental health problems in the population might be premature.
  • ... Independent from bullying, depression is common during adolescence and increases post-puberty, with a 12-month median prevalence of 4-5% worldwide [8]; it can be due to genetic factors [9], physiological changes [10], and environmental and psychosocial factors, such as unpleasant events, and chronic adversity [11]. Depression has been strongly associated with suicide among adolescents [12]. Indeed, more than half of those who attempted suicide reported being depressed at the time of the attempt [13]. ...
    ... The Illinois Bully Scale is a 16-item research-validated tool used to measure bullying and victimization by directly surveying students. It is divided into two sections: a bullying scale that measures student involvement in bullying (questions 1-9) and a victimization scale that measures the extent to which students have been bullied (questions [10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. Both measures are combined to yield a bullying and victimization score [59]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Background: In addition to the unstable political situation, Lebanon had experienced a cycle of wars, local armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, and crises (lack of clean water, recurrent power failure, and waste mismanagement, in addition to the growing number of unemployed people, as the number of Syrian refugees has dramatically increased, and led to competition for jobs with locals. All these factors make the Lebanese population prone to mental disorders, particularly suicide, without clear management policies. This study aims to validate the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (CSSRS), and determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation and associated factors among a Lebanese nationally representative sample of adolescents from 9th to 12th grades. Methods: Participants were 1810 adolescents who enrolled in this cross-sectional study (January-May 2019), using a proportionate random sample of schools from all Lebanese Mohafazat. The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale was used to screen for suicidal ideation. Results: The results showed that 28.9% had some type of suicidal ideation [95% CI 26.7%-31.1%]. The CSSRS items converged on a one-factor solution, accounting for a total of 85.40% of the variance (αCronbach=0.966). Higher psychological abuse (Beta=0.041), child physical abuse (Beta=0.030), alcohol dependence (Beta=0.062), social fear (Beta=0.028), victimization/bullying score (Beta=0.028), impulsivity (Beta=0.028) and internet addiction (Beta=0.010) scores were significantly associated with higher suicidal ideation. Same applies to adolescents whose parents are separated compared to living together (Beta=0.992) and in females compared to males (0.311). On another hand, a higher age (Beta=-0.182) was significantly associated with lower suicidal ideation. Conclusion: This study provides insights about suicidal ideation among Lebanese adolescents and related risk factors, such as child psychological and physical abuse, alcohol use disorders, social fear, bullying and victimization, impulsivity, and internet addiction.
  • ... The findings demonstrate the importance of moving beyond measuring screen time as self-reported hours spent engaging with a digital device to include other types of estimates, such as time-use diaries (Orben & Przybylski, 2019b). Responding to a previously published cross-sectional study where the authors concluded that social media leads to becoming depressed (Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2018), one study examined these effects longitudinally (Heffer et al., 2019). Following up two adolescent samples over two and six years, respectively, the authors found that social media did not predict depressive symptoms -but rather the other way around. ...
    ... That is, the more adolescents were depressed, the more their social media use increased (Heffer et al., 2019). Another recent commentary also criticized the aforementioned findings by Twenge et al. (2018) by raising a number of methodological flaws, including poor measurement and statistical analyses, trivial correlations between main variables, and subsequent problematic interpretation of results -the latter of which could cause unwarranted concern for the general public (Ophir, Lipshits-Braziler, & Rosenberg, 2019). Nuanced studies and meta-analyses are of absolute necessity if the field is to move away from thinking about digital interactions as inherently good or bad, and instead create frameworks that help explain for whom online socializing is beneficial and under which conditions. ...
    Chapter
    Full-text available
    Online peer engagement has gone through rapid changes in the past decades, largely due to the rise of social network platforms and availability of new digital technologies. Academic research into online peer interactions has not kept up with these quick developments, however, with the majority of findings on online peer engagement placed in “good” vs. “bad” camps. While this ongoing theoretical battle is taking place, offline as well as online social networking keeps transforming. This chapter highlights issues with the existing polarized literature, with scaremongering in the popular media as a direct result of findings from the “bad” perspective paralleling other moral panics concerning young people’s technology use. Some of the issues with the current scientific literature are highlighted, such as mainly cross-sectional studies and lack of research on overlaps between online and offline social networks. The chapter also emphasizes up and coming innovative frameworks offering alternative views of adolescent online peer engagement, including online socializing as an evolutionary mismatch. Finally, the importance of digital technology design in preserving aspects of social interactions crucial for a healthy adolescent social development is discussed.
  • ... For example, the rise in popularity of social media has been posited as a potential explanation for recent increases in mental health problems among adolescents. [2,3] There are also concerns about online experiences such as cyberbullying, which has been linked to a range of adverse mental health outcomes. [4][5][6][7] A growing number of studies have found an association between high levels of internet use in young people and poor mental health, including depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, hostility/aggression, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. ...
    ... [4][5][6][7] A growing number of studies have found an association between high levels of internet use in young people and poor mental health, including depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, hostility/aggression, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. [3,[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] However, most existing research is based on cross-sectional data and so the temporal relationship between mental health problems and internet use is currently unclear. The lack of longitudinal studies assessing the consequences of screen-based activities was recently highlighted as a key limitation in the field. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Objectives Most of the evidence on the effects of internet use on mental health derives from cross-sectional research. We set out to explore prospective associations between internet use (hours online and specific internet experiences) and future mental health problems. Methods Participants were 1,431 respondents from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a UK birth cohort, who completed a questionnaire on internet use (time online and ten different internet experiences) when they were aged 18 years. Outcomes included past year self-harm, assessed at 21 years and high levels of depression and anxiety symptoms, assessed at 22 years. Associations were investigated using logistic regression models and analyses were conducted separately for males and females. Results Females reporting high levels of internet use (number of hours online) were found to be at increased risk of depression at follow-up (highest tertile vs lowest tertile OR = 1.41, 95% CI 0.90 to 2.20), whereas males with high levels of internet use were at increased risk for self-harm (highest tertile vs lowest tertile OR = 2.53, 95%CI 0.93 to 6.90). There was no evidence to suggest an association between hours spent online and anxiety. With regards to the specific internet experiences, associations were found for females but not for males. In fully adjusted models, being bullied online (OR = 1.76, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.86) and meeting someone face to face (OR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.41) were associated with an increased risk of future depression. Being bullied online was also associated with an increased risk of future self-harm (OR = 2.42, 95% CI 1.41 to 4.15), along with receiving unwanted sexual comments or material, and coming across pornography and violent/gruesome material. Conclusions Our findings highlight the importance of digital citizenship training to help teach young people to use technology safely and responsibly.
  • ... Cause-and-effect thinking dominates current research of the links between screen time and wellbeing. Twenge, for example, identifies screen time as an important cause of mental health problems such as depression (e.g., Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2018), unhappiness (e.g., Twenge, 2019), and even suicidal ideation (e.g., Twenge et al., 2018). But several scholars warn for the 'conceptual and methodological mayhem' (cf. ...
    ... Cause-and-effect thinking dominates current research of the links between screen time and wellbeing. Twenge, for example, identifies screen time as an important cause of mental health problems such as depression (e.g., Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2018), unhappiness (e.g., Twenge, 2019), and even suicidal ideation (e.g., Twenge et al., 2018). But several scholars warn for the 'conceptual and methodological mayhem' (cf. ...
    Preprint
    Full-text available
    Mobile media support our autonomy by connecting us to persons, contents and services independently of time and place constraints. At the same time, they challenge our autonomy: We face struggles, decisions and pressure in relation to whether, when and where we connect and disconnect. Digital wellbeing is a new concept that refers to the (lack) of balance that we may experience in relation to mobile connectivity. This article develops a theoretical model of digital wellbeing accounting for the dynamic and complex nature of our relationship to mobile connectivity, thereby overcoming conceptual and methodological limitations associated with existing approaches. This model considers digital wellbeing an experiential state of optimal balance between connectivity and disconnectivity that is contingent upon a constellation of person-, device- and context-specific factors. These constellations represent pathways to digital wellbeing that – when repeated –affect wellbeing outcomes. Digital wellbeing interventions are effective when they disrupt these pathways.
  • ... In contrast, parental care and protection can also serve as protective factors against internet addiction [9]. Regular exercise has also been found to be a protective factor against excessive internet use, because it can enhance mood and psychological well-being [10]. ...
    ... As well as the continuous variable, the hours adolescents spent online were grouped into those who spent >5 h/day online, and those who spent < 5 h/day. In a previous study it was reported that adolescents who spent >5 h/day on smartphones, compared to those who spent <5 h/day online, had a 66% higher risk of suicide [10]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The potential risk of internet use on adolescents’ self-harm is a major concern. Vulnerable adolescents who are susceptible to bullying are also susceptible to the negative influence of the internet. In this study, the pathway associations were investigated between the risk factors of deliberate self-harm, experience of being bullied, internet use, and protective factors of maternal monitoring on perceived happiness of 12- and 13-year-old adolescents in the Taiwan Birth Cohort Pilot Study dataset (n = 1,457). The Chinese Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was used to measure the adolescents’ self-perceived levels of happiness, in two dimensions of social adaptation status and psychological well-being. Our results show that 354 (24.3%) of the 12-year-olds reported having been bullied, and 289 (19.8%) of the 13-year-olds reported this. Seventy-nine (5.4%) of 13-year-olds reported deliberate self-harm in the past year. Results of a structural equation model showed that those who had been bullied at age 12 years were at greater risk of deliberate self-harm at age 13 years. A negative association was found between duration of internet use and perceived level of happiness. Adolescents who spent >5 h online during days off school were at higher risk of deliberate self-harm, and perceived a lower level of happiness. Therefore, spending >5 h online during days off school could be used as an indicator in future preventive action programs to screen out those at a high risk of excessive internet use, deliberate self-harm, and psychological well-being and social adjustment issues.
  • ... More generally, there is mounting evidence that digital technologies impact our mental health in both positive and negative ways [39][40][41][42][43]. For instance, a nationally representative survey of American adolescents by Twenge et al. [39], found that adolescents who spent more time on new media (including social media and electronic devices such as smartphones) were more likely to report mental health issues. ...
    ... More generally, there is mounting evidence that digital technologies impact our mental health in both positive and negative ways [39][40][41][42][43]. For instance, a nationally representative survey of American adolescents by Twenge et al. [39], found that adolescents who spent more time on new media (including social media and electronic devices such as smartphones) were more likely to report mental health issues. As patients living with SMDs are already an at-risk group, it is vital to develop an evidence-based understanding of the use and scope ...
    Article
    Purpose of review: Increasingly, digital technologies, especially mobile telecommunications and smartphone apps, are seen as a novel tool for managing severe mental disorders (SMDs) in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, there is a need to identify best practices in the use of digital technologies to effectively reach, support, and manage care for patients living with SMDs. In this review, we summarize recent studies using digital technology to manage symptoms and support clinical care for this patient population and discuss new opportunities to advance digital psychiatry research and practice in LMICs. Recent findings: Studies evaluating digital interventions for clinical populations living with SMDs in LMICs are limited. Yet, across recent articles surveyed, digital technology appears to yield diverse benefits for this at-risk patient population. These benefits include improved medication adherence, appointment adherence, reduced instances of relapse, and fewer re-hospitalizations. Summary: Continued rigorous research evaluating effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of digital technologies in reaching, treating, and managing symptoms and supporting clinical care for patients with SMDs in LMICs is vital. The urgency for remote approaches for delivering specialized psychiatric care is particularly pronounced because of the immediate and long-term impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on access to in-person services. Future research should emphasize participatory approaches rooted in a process of codesign with target users, in order to achieve clinically effective remotely delivered digital mental health interventions.
  • ... On the one hand, the use of digital media can be beneficial, for example when online communication deepens friendships and thus increases social support (Valkenburg & Peter, 2011). On the other hand, several studies have found associations between higher screen exposure and increased depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviours (Lissak, 2018;Sampasa-Kanyinga & Lewis, 2015;Twenge, Joiner, Rogers & Martin, 2017). ...
    ... The Luxembourgish data show an association between suicidal behaviour and increased screen time among adolescents, which is in line with previously mentioned studies that also found a similar association (e.g. Lissak, 2018;Sampasa-Kanyinga & Lewis, 2015;Twenge et al. , 2017). ...
    Book
    Full-text available
    The HBSC Luxembourg Suicide Report presents an overview of adolescents’ suicidal behaviour in Luxembourg. Data collected from the HBSC 2006, 2010 and 2014 Luxembourg Study give a first glimpse on Trends on sadness, suicide contemplation, planning of suicide and suicide attempt. In addition, based on the findings from the HBSC 2014 Luxembourg Study only, 24 variables (concerning sociodemographic aspects, social support and quality of communication, school-related risk factors, bullying, fighting and sexual assault, health status and health behaviour) are explored in relation to sadness and suicidal behaviour. Therefore this document can be a useful source of information to the public, professionals working with adolescents and policymakers.
  • ... Ferguson [20] Houghton et al. [21] Wu et al. [22] New media screen time Twenge et al. [23] Digital media time Twenge and Campbell [19] Technology use Nesi and Prinstein [24] Digital engagement Orben and Przybylski [25] Digital technology use Orben and Przybylski [7] This diverse nomenclature could be due to the area of study being new, with a unified vocabulary yet to be established by the academic community. However, such diversity is also a clear indication that a concept is relatively undefined even within expert circles. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Debates concerning the impacts of screen time are widespread. Existing research presents mixed findings, and lacks longitudinal evidence for any causal or long-term effects. We present a critical account of the current shortcomings of the screen time literature. These include poor conceptualisation, the use of non-standardised measures that are predominantly self-report, and issues with measuring screen time over time and context. Based on these issues, we make a series of recommendations as a basis for furthering academic and public debate. These include drawing on a user-focused approach in order to seek the various affordances gained from “screen use”. Within this, we can better understand the way in which these vary across time and context, and make distinction between objective measures of “screen time” compared to those more subjective experiences of uses or affordances, and the differential impacts these may bring.
  • ... High school students today report rates of depression and anxiety upwards of 25% in addition to tackling issues like drug abuse and cyberbullying (Bauman et al., 2013). An analysis of various data sources such as the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System reported increases between 12 -33% in depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide deaths among American adolescents between 2010-2015 compared to previous rates (Twenge et al., 2018). Academic stressors continue to increase with 26% of students expressing extreme distress over college application and admission processes (Shahmohammadi, 2011). ...
  • ... Unfortunately, "another effect of this disproportionate fear is to direct attention to the risks we're most afraid of and away from those that actually pose the greatest risk" (Ropeik 2018). Although students' and educators' reports of most forms of violence at schools have decreased in recent years (Musu et al. 2019), other indicators of risk, including depression, anxiety, and suicide, which receive considerably less publicity than school shootings, are on the rise among children and teens (Bitsko et al. 2018;Curtin and Heron 2019;Twenge et al. 2019;Twenge et al. 2018a). For example, Twenge et al. (2019) found that the percentage of teens who experienced a major depressive episode increased by 52% between 2005 and 2017 and included one out of every five adolescent girls. ...
    Article
    A serious information gap exists between current practices to address threats of violence in pre-K-12 school settings in the USA and research on school climate and best practices in violence prevention. This article explores the nature and extent of gun violence on American school campuses and examines responses by school administrators and policymakers to address these threats. Further, it explores research that suggests that many efforts to prevent or prepare for gun violence in schools, such as zero-tolerance policies, profiling, physical security measures, lockdowns, and active shooter drills, may not only be misguided but may also cause significant unintended harm to children. Finally, it examines current research that points to policies and practices that are more likely to foster safe and humane school settings.
  • ... Nevertheless, existing literature offers some evidence on risk factors connected with global changes in lifestyle of the younger population. Amongst them, spending more time on new media screen-based activities and less time on non-screen activities, obesity, the impact of social media, and peer-stress are strongly connected with increases in depression and suicide rates [21,22]. Those factors are not entirely new but were more often observed in Poland between 1995 and 2011 [23]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Introduction: The prevalence of depression in Polish children and adolescents under 18 years of age treated for mental disorders has increased in the last few years in Poland. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of major depression in a population of Polish children and adolescents under 18 years of age treated for mental disorders, stratified by sex and place of residence, in the years 2005, 2009, 2014, and 2016. Material and methods: We analysed the psychiatric treatment data of children and adolescents under the age of 18 years in Poland compiled by the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw for these years. Results: Major depression was moderately prevalent among children and adolescents treated in all evaluated types of mental health facilities, with a prevalence in this population ranging from 0.8% in 2005 to 4.3% in 2016. The rates of young patients with mood disorders increased from 3.1% in 2005 to 7.0% in 2016. Risk factors for developing major depression in our research group were: being female and living in an urban area. Conclusions: Our findings suggest the need to increase the service capacity for children and adolescents as well as to intensify preventive measures to improve the mental health status of this age group.
  • ... Some of the challenges encountered at this stage may be perceived as stressful, at least for some individuals. Indeed, the proportion of individuals in the age range 18-25 who report stress (e.g., Jensen et al., 2018), depressive symptoms (e.g., Twenge et al., 2018) and experience depressive episodes (Mojtabai et al., 2016) is high and showed a recent increase. The latter presumably reflects a variety of socio-economic and cultural changes, resulting in a more complex world in general, with more information and choices but also more to-be-ignored stimulations. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of a two-week web-based program targeting mindfulness and self-compassion. The program was developed with young adults in mind and involves 15 minutes of training per day, five days a week. In an RCT study, 56 participants (18-25 years) were randomly assigned to a training group or a wait-list control group. Thirty-five participants, 15 in the training group and 20 in the control group, completed assessments of self-compassion, mindfulness, and indicators of mental health (stress, emotion regulation, affect balance, time perspective) before and directly after the two-week period. Mixed linear analyses revealed several significant group-by-time interactions, with selective changes in the intervention group. The results revealed a large effect for self-compassion (d = 1.0) and a medium effect for mindfulness (d = 0.52; p =.07 for the interaction). Statistically significant group-by-time interactions and small to medium effects were observed for stress (d = 0.67, reduced scores), affect balance (d = 0.43; increased scores), cognitive appraisal (d = 0.43; increased scores) and a Present Hedonistic time perspective (d = 0.67; increased scores). No significant effects were observed for other time perspective dimensions or for a measure of expressive suppression. In spite of limitations, including a small sample, lack of an active control group and follow-up assessments, the results indicate that the program may have potential as one tool to reduce stress and improve mental health in young individuals. Further evaluations may therefore be motivated.
  • ... It can be negative, judgmental, or turn to a reflection of "the good old days" before technology. Emerging data does link increased screen time to the rise in youth depression and anxiety (Twenge et al., 2018), and I think that is a very serious topic we should be addressing through education. I also want to shine a different light on youth today. ...
    Article
    Public education is our greatest asset for global thriving. The majority of youth in North America will be educated through publicly funded schools; positive psychology, positive education, and all models of whole-school well-being and resilience need to be accessible, adaptable, and affordable. This is particularly urgent given the rising rates of mental health concerns and illness worldwide. Geelong Grammar School in Australia identifies four interconnected processes for effective implementation of whole-school well-being: Learn It - Live It - Teach It - Embed It. Live It is described as “enacting evidence-based well-being practices in an individual’s unique way in their own lives” (Hoare et al., 2017, p. 60). Drawing on research in education and psychological and organizational well-being, I argue that this concept of living it is the essence of effective, sustainable cultures of well-being. By living the practices of well-being science, ourselves and within our schools, we learn, teach, and embed them in our families, communities, and institutions. Value for well-being needs to be intentional and prioritized. I propose three pillars to strengthen a culture of living it: authenticity, proactivity, and sustainability, each with supporting skills, behaviours, and mindsets from well-being science. This paper lays the groundwork to build grassroots momentum for well-being in public education, and to support research that operationalizes this essential aspect of school well-being. Living it can be a catalyst to drive social and educational change, and to create conditions for optimal learning and thriving.
  • ... Data collected over the last decade indicate that self-harm, suicidal attempts, eating disorders, depression, and addictive disorders are growing problems among young people (Burstein et al., 2019;Keyes et al., 2019;Twenge, 2020;Twenge et al., 2018). Depression is the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the USA and Europe (WHO, 2018). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Recent decades have seen a rise in mental health problems among children and adolescents. Despite a proliferation of studies describing effective school-based mental health programs, reviews of current research in this field suggest a strong lack of consensus concerning the definition of school mental health and its constructs. In the present paper, we set out to fill this gap via a two-step process: first, we offer a critical overview of recent research around the concept of school mental health; second, we propose a comprehensive theoretical framework for researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers involved in mental health promotion and school prevention programs. The proposed framework comprises three key domains: the first two, cover the promotion of social and emotional learning and resilience, while the third concerns the prevention of behavioural problems.
  • ... Adolescent depression is frequently identified and diagnosed by primary care providers, yet engagement in mental health treatment is very low in primary care (O'Connor et al., 2016) and is often limited to antidepressant medication or therapy. (Merikangas et al., 2010) Given that the prevalence of adolescent depression is increasingly high, (Mojtabai, Olfson, & Han, 2016;Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2018) innovative treatment models that are effective and keep youth engaged are needed in primary care. Results from our study suggest that MBSGs could be feasible for reducing depression in adolescents seeking mental health treatment in primary care. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Objective: To determine acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of Mind-Body Skills Groups (MBSGs) as a treatment for depressed adolescents in primary care. Methods: A single arm clinical trial was conducted. A 10-week MBSG program was implemented in primary care. Participants completed self-report measures at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-months following the MBSGs. Measures included the Children's Depression Inventory-2, Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire, Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, Self-Efficacy for Depressed Adolescents, rumination subscale of the Children's Response Style Questionnaire, and a short acceptability questionnaire. Results: Participants included 43 adolescents. The total depression scores significantly improved following the MBSG intervention and continued to improve significantly from post-treatment to follow-up. Mindfulness, self-efficacy, rumination, and suicidal ideation all had significant improvement following the intervention. Acceptability of the program was strong, and attendance was excellent. Discussion: Preliminary evidence suggests that MBSGs are an acceptable treatment for primary care settings and lead to improved depression symptoms in adolescents. 4
  • ... Primary takeaways from models inferring the proportion of COVID-19 news stories suggest that during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, students were more depressed and anxious, used their phones more, visited fewer locations, and spent more time sedentary. At this critical time of increased depression and anxiety, we issue a call to public health officials and individual citizens to raise public awareness about the benefits of aerobic exercise and unplugging from technology (moderating phone usage), as each of these has previously been shown to have positive effects on alleviating anxiety and depression [8,26,28,29]. COVID-19 arrived locally during week 9 of the academic term. By the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (academic term week 10), a significant deterioration in mental health and multiple behavioral changes were observed, which synchronizes with the implementation of rapid policy changes at the college, local, and national levels. ...
    Preprint
    Full-text available
    Background Worldwide, the vast majority of people have been impacted by COVID-19. While millions of individuals have become infected, billions of individuals have been asked or required by local and national governments to change their behavioral patterns. Previous research on epidemics or traumatic events suggest this can lead to profound behavioral and mental health changes, but rarely are researchers able to track these changes with frequent, near real-time sampling or compare these to previous years of data on the same individuals.Objectives We seek to answer two overarching questions by combining mobile phone sensing and self-reported mental health data among college students participating in a longitudinal study for the past two years. First, have behaviors and mental health changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to previous time periods within the same participants? Second, did behavior and mental health changes track the relative news coverage of COVID-19 in the US media?Methods Behaviors were measured using the StudentLife mobile smartphone sensing app. Depression and anxiety were assessed using weekly self-reported Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs). Differences in behaviors and self-reported mental health collected during the Winter 2020 term (the term in which the coronavirus pandemic started), as compared to prevous terms in the same cohort, were modeled using mixed linear models.ResultsDuring the initial COVID-19 impacted academic term (Winter 2020), individuals were more sedentary and reported increased anxiety and depression symptoms (P<.001), relative to the previous academic terms and subsequent academic breaks. Interactions between the Winter 2020 term and week of academic term (linear and quadratic) were significant. In a mixed linear model, phone usage, number of locations visited, and week of the term, were strongly associated with increased coronavirus-related news. When mental health metrics (e.g., depression and anxiety) were added to the previous measures (week of term, number of locations visited, and phone usage), both anxiety (P<.001) and depression (P<.05) were significantly associated with coronavirus-related news.Conclusions Compared with prior academic terms, individuals in Winter 2020 were more sedentary, anxious, and depressed. A wide variety of behaviors, including increased phone usage, decreased physical activity, and fewer locations visited, are associated with fluctuations in COVID-19 news reporting. While this large-scale shift in mental health and behavior is unsurprising, its characterization is particularly important to help guide the development of methods that could reduce the impact of future catastrophic events on the mental health of the population.
  • ... Furthermore, the general use of internet was collected, and no information regarding the habit of use was collected. Young and Cristiano has proposed internet usage to be separated into four categories of gaming, social media, pornography, and information seeking [29]. Further information regarding the purpose of internet use may provide us with more information regarding the different subtype of internet addiction and its effects. ...
    Preprint
    Full-text available
    Background Functional and excessive use of internet is hard to distinguish, and internet use can affect adolescents’ development of self-identity. The aim of our study was to investigate the pathway relationship of the risk and protective factors of internet use, including mother care, absorptive dissociative trait, having been bullied, exercise, self-perceived depressive mood and happiness of 12-year-old adolescents. Methods The Taiwan Birth Cohort Study dataset, which used a national household probability sampling method and included 17,694 12-years-old adolescents, was used for this study. Results Our results showed 5.3% adolescents reported to spend more than five hours online during schooldays. Additionally, adolescents that spend more than five hours online during schooldays tended to have higher absorptive trait, perceived less care from mothers, more likely to have been bullied, expressed higher level of depressed mood, which leads to lower level of perceived happiness. Conclusions Adolescents that spend more than 5 hours online during schooldays, compared to those that spent less than an hour online, were more likely to have been bullied and affect their level of happiness, showing that they may be a group of higher concern. Since parental care and regular exercise are protective factors for internet addiction, it should be promoted to all adolescents, especially those in the high risk group, to prevent them from being addicted online.
  • ... Today, young adults are also called digital natives, i.e., people born between the beginning of the 1980s and the end of the 1990s (Brillet et al., 2011), who have totally incorporated the use of social media and internet-based devices in their everyday lives in leisuretime pursuits. Engagement in this emerging digital space is socially heterogeneous, and thus, scholars have addressed the causal mechanisms and consequences of this gap in digital immersion (DiMaggio et al., 2004;Ragnedda and Muschert, 2013), especially for health outcomes (Coyne et al., 2019;Heffer et al., 2019;Lin et al., 2016;Twenge et al., 2018). ...
    Conference Paper
    Full-text available
    This study cross-sectionally examined the associations among (i) leisure activities, (ii) social capital indicators of support from relatives and friends and (iii) depressed mood among a sample of 891 young adults born between 1988 and 1997 who grew up in Switzerland (LIVES Cohort Study). We identified a simplified structure of online (instrumental vs. expressive) and offline (highbrow vs. lowbrow) leisure activities by means of a principal component analysis (PCA). Then, we performed a K-means clustering that resulted in five leisure patterns, which we refer to as disengaged, traders, omnivores, digitals and popular. Our results show that people engaging more extensively with traditional forms of leisure activities—omnivores and popular—reported a higher adequacy of emotional and instrumental support from relatives and friends, which have been found to be protective factors of depressed mood. In contrast, young adults focusing their leisure time on online activities—so-called traders and digitals—perceive lower levels of support from these networks of intimate ties. In particular, the results from mediation analyses suggest that respondents engaging especially with online chatting (digitals) experience sadness and negative feelings more often, an association partially mediated by a lower adequacy of emotional support perceived from their friends. The paper improves the understanding of the capacity of different types of leisure activities to provide opportunities to mobilize resources embedded in social relationships and thus to be beneficial for mental health.
  • ... Rates of suicide for girls between the ages 10 to 14 have tripled between 1999 and 2004, revealing they are the fastest growing subgroup (Luby & Kertz, 2019). Researchers are seeking to unpack this trend more empirically, but are suggesting that social media is a contributing factor to increases in adolescent suicides (Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2017). Female adolescents are reported to be more afflicted by social media, which has been linked to increased depression, cyberbullying and suicidal tendencies (Luby & Kertz, 2019). ...
    Article
    Two unprecedented and profound change cycles are currently occurring in the 21st century. The first is that the modern workplace is rapidly changing due to globalization and automation. This change is impacting how humans participate in the future of work. The second is that scientific evidence now supports that the extension of adolescence prolongedly occurs between ages 10 to 26 (Steinberg, 2015). This last formative period of development is marked by increased brain malleability offering the opportunity to hardwire critical knowledge and adaptive life skills (Steinberg, 2015). These two cycles: one driving the global workplace and the other, impacting adolescent development, can be harnessed and linked together to produce transformative results, especially for adolescents from isolated or disadvantaged backgrounds. Developmentally, youth require “access to safe places, challenging experiences and caring people on a daily basis” (Zeldin, Kimball, & Price, 1995). Caring non-parental adults in the form of mentors can provide adolescents with “developmental networks” (Kram & Ragins, 2007). These networks are so potent that they have been called “invisible colleges” offering increased access, exposure and opportunity through informal relationships connections (Cooper, 2010). A daily habit-forming virtual curriculum based on structured positive principles and critical life skills applied with the support of mentors can institutionally transform future workforce outcomes for mentees. Purposeful symbiotic positive change cycles that allow shift in mindsets, acquisition of relevant skills and expansion of networks create self-directed opportunities for adolescents to participate in the future of work rather than be left out or left behind.
  • ... Recent years have seen concerns that this continuous connectivity is harmful to multiple aspects of youth's psychosocial well-being, with an intense focus on the potential linkage between both screen time and social media usage and increasing rates of depression among adolescent girls. 2,3 Fears related to links between social-media usage and depression (and related problems) have received widespread public attention and resulted in differing perspectives on whether social media is to blame or, alternatively, could be used to respond to 4 increasing levels of anxiety and depression that have been observed among some populations of youth. There are trustworthy data and disturbing trends pointing to the need to be concerned about increasing internalizing problems among adolescents, particularly young female adolescents. ...
    Article
    Adolescents are constantly connected to their devices, and concerns have been raised that this connectivity is damaging their development more generally, and their mental health in particular. Recent narrative reviews and meta-analyses do not support a strong linkage between the quantity of adolescents' digital technology engagement and mental health problems. Instead, it appears that offline vulnerabilities tend to mirror and shape online risks in ways that may further amplify mental health inequalities among youth. New approaches for supporting youth mental health, especially for vulnerable youth and those typically excluded from traditional services, are now both possible and required. .
  • ... 4 Some studies report correlations of screen time with depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and poor school performance. [5][6][7] Additional studies report changes in brain anatomy and physiology related to digital media. 8,9 However, other studies point out that the variance of negative outcomes attributed to screen time is less than 1% (less than whether or not the student wears glasses) and that it is spurious to scapegoat screen time for increases in social ills that have complex and nuanced origins and influences. ...
    Article
    The growing amount of screen time among adolescents has raised concerns about the effects it may have on their physical and psychological health. Although the literature is divided on whether the effects are mostly positive, neutral, or mostly negative, it is likely that the impacts will be highly individualized with a mixture of good and bad consequences for each person. Understanding behavioral and neurobiological phenomena of adolescence may help to guide research and interventions to optimize the benefits and minimize the risks. Particular aspects of adolescent development relevant to the issue include: (i) hunger for human connectedness; (ii) appetite for adventure; and (iii) desire for data. .
  • ... Internet use and self-harm or suicidal behaviour is associated with high levels of Internet addiction, Internet use, and websites with self-harm or suicide content; Scottye et al. (2013) investigated American adolescent suicide statements as part of suicidal intentions/thoughts on MySpace and reached the conclusion that these statements had a relationship-related context; Bányai et al. (2017) (studying a sample of Hungarian adolescents) and Yonker et al. (2015) found that depression, low self-esteem, and suicidality are impacted by social media because of the availability of suicide stories; Barry et al. (2017) found social media responsible for symptoms of anxiety, depression, hyperactivity/impulsiveness, inattention, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in American adolescents; Calancie et al. (2017) identified Facebook as a stressor in Canadian adolescents with anxiety disorders; the relationship between new media screens and suicidal behaviour in American adolescents has been investigated by Twenge et al. (2017) (but their results are controversial). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Teenage suicide continues to be a serious issue both worldwide and in Romania and, therefore, it deserves to be studied by educators, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and sociologists. A close study of literature in the field of adolescent/ teen suicide over the last fifty years shows that it has been studied in a relatively small number of countries, and that American researchers prevail. Research was conducted on samples of different age ranges depending on the meaning of the term "adolescent" and on the type of approach. The review of literature shows there is a specific vocabulary of "suicide" and there are individual preferences in the use of the different synonyms. Three types of causes/ factors/ stressors/ triggers for adolescent suicide are illustrated with examples from literature: biological, environmental, and psychological. The lack of studies regarding teenage suicide in Romania should be a starting point in researching this phenomenon both quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • ... Moreover, a report by the Children's Commissioner for England found that children using social media prior to secondary education focus on games and creative activities, whereas the focus posttransition is on 'likes' and 'comments', affecting their emotional well-being [117]. Increased social media and phone use in adolescence has been linked to heightened depression and suicidal ideation in adolescents by other researchers also [118]. These findings imply that a greater number of children transitioning now may encounter emotional difficulties around this period compared to children in this study, and given that emotional well-being predicts maths attainment trajectories [62], it is possible that transition experiences and attainment differs between these groups, which affects the generalizability of the findings. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    A ‘maths crisis’ has been identified in the UK, with many adults and adolescents underachieving in maths and numeracy. This poor performance is likely to develop from deficits in maths already present in childhood. Potential predictors of maths attainment trajectories throughout childhood and adolescence relate to the home environment and aspects of parenting including parent–child relationships, parental mental health, school involvement, home teaching, parental education and gendered play at home. This study examined the aforementioned factors as predictors of children's maths attainment trajectories (age 7–16) across the challenging transition to secondary education. A secondary longitudinal analysis of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children found support for parental education qualifications, a harmonious parent–child relationship and school involvement at age 11 as substantial predictors of maths attainment trajectories across the transition to secondary education. These findings highlight the importance of parental involvement for maths attainment throughout primary and secondary education.
  • ... Such online communities may be particularly attractive for lonely adolescents and those who are dissatisfied with their offline social relationships. Although the internet, social media, and online gaming offer numerous positive opportunities for connection, an increasing number of incidents have involved excessive/pathological use that may cause stress and lead to behavioral addiction, increased nondirectional social comparisons and loneliness, low self-esteem, low social competence, low life satisfaction, and sleep disturbance as well as depressive and anxiety symptoms (Levenson et al., 2016;Rosenthal et al., 2016;Shensa et al., 2017;Baccarella et al., 2018;Twenge et al., 2018;Hawi and Samaha, 2019). A study by Nisar et al. (2019) found a positive correlation between passive Facebook use and increased non-directional social comparisons, which in turn was associated with depressive symptoms among the users. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Background Adolescents’ mental health, and its consistent relationship with their socioeconomic background, is a concern that should drive education, health, and employment policies. However, information about this relationship on a national scale is limited. We explore national overall trends and investigate possible socioeconomic disparities in adolescents’ mental health, including psychological distress and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness in Norway during the period 2014–2018.Methods The present study builds on data retrieved from five waves of the national cross-sectional Ungdata survey (2014–2018). In total 136,525 upper secondary school students (52% girls) completed the questionnaire during the study period. Trends in socioeconomic inequalities were assessed using the Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and the Relative Index of Inequality (RII).ResultsThe prevalence of students with moderate to high symptoms score and mean symptoms scores of psychological distress (in terms of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness) increased among girls and boys during 2014–2018, with girls showing higher rates. Our results suggest distinct, but stable, inequalities between socioeconomic groups, both in absolute and relative terms, among girls and boys during the study period.Conclusion Rising rates of adolescents’ psychological distress, particularly among girls, may have long-term consequences for individuals involved and the society as a whole. Future studies should investigate the causes of these results. We did not find evidence of any change in inequalities in adolescents’ mental health between socioeconomic groups, suggesting current strategies are not sufficiently addressing mental health inequalities in the adolescent population and therefore a significant need for research and public health efforts.
  • ... This view assumes that all members of the audience considered are affected by the new technology in the same way and that this technology is sufficient to cause long-term change (Grimes et al., 2008). This causationist standpoint has had many incarnations and follows a consistent pattern over the past century: Listening to the radio causes anxiety (Preston, 1941), reading comic books causes childhood maladjustment (Wertham, 1954), video games cause aggression (Bushman & Anderson, 2002), and smartphones and social media cause depression (Twenge, 2018;Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2017). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Widespread concerns about new technologies—whether they be novels, radios, or smartphones—are repeatedly found throughout history. Although tales of past panics are often met with amusement today, current concerns routinely engender large research investments and policy debate. What we learn from studying past technological panics, however, is that these investments are often inefficient and ineffective. What causes technological panics to repeatedly reincarnate? And why does research routinely fail to address them? To answer such questions, I examined the network of political, population, and academic factors driving the Sisyphean cycle of technology panics. In this cycle, psychologists are encouraged to spend time investigating new technologies, and how they affect children and young people, to calm a worried population. Their endeavor, however, is rendered ineffective because of the lack of a theoretical baseline; researchers cannot build on what has been learned researching past technologies of concern. Thus, academic study seemingly restarts for each new technology of interest, which slows down the policy interventions necessary to ensure technologies are benefiting society. In this article, I highlight how the Sisyphean cycle of technology panics stymies psychology’s positive role in steering technological change and the pervasive need for improved research and policy approaches to new technologies.
  • ... The rise of precarity in the United States is evidenced in the concomitant rise of mass shootings (Berkowitz, Alcantara, & Lu, 2019;Federal Bureau of Investigations, 2013), increase in depressive symptoms and suicide completions among youth (Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2018), and the increase in privatization (and profi teering) of government welfare programs and education (Abramovitz & Zelnick, 2015;Harvey, 2007). Another indicator of the precarity under which we operate is the economy. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Education has the ability to both reproduce and transform broader social structures. Yet, teachers’ responsibilities are constantly increasing whilst budgets, resources, and staffing are depleted. We argue that we are living in a time of great uncertainty and precarity. As physical educators, we should make attempts to be socially conscious of this precarity and provide equitable environments for all students. This article (the second installment of a two-part series) is an attempt to make an important step in enacting a socially just and informed physical education program. In so doing, we highlight specific ways that teachers and teacher educators can prepare for and teach about precarity in physical education. By providing resources, readings, and examples from practice, we provide a framework that promotes ethics of value, care, and zeal for others.
  • ... Later, Twenge and colleagues found even more severe outcomes related to students' increasing screen time, such as depression and suicide (Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, & Martin, 2018). However, this finding has been challenged with charges of inaccurate measurement, negligible correlations, and inappropriate interpretation of results (Ophir, Lipshits-Braziler, & Rosenberg, 2019). ...
    Article
    The challenge of educating digital natives has caused educators to radically rethink the ways in which they teach the generations who have come of age immersed in modern technology. Over the years, the discussion has caused a certain level of panic among non‐natives, the so‐called digital immigrants, educators who fear that they do not possess the technical skills to teach their tech‐savvy students. In an effort to help educators and other readers better understand the evolution of these terms and related ideas since their inception, this literature review identifies and elaborates upon four distinct and telling phases of the debate about their meaning and importance: (a) conception, (b) reaction, (c) adaptation, and (d) reconceptualization. Scholars have yet to reach a consensus on the issues involved in the digital natives conundrum, but challenges include (a) multitasking, (b) problems associated with social media, (c) educational benefits associated with social media, and (d) new strategies that educators are designing and employing in their attempts to reach so‐called digital natives. Practical implications are discussed.
  • ... Depression affects 2% of pre-pubertal children and between 5 and 8% of adolescents worldwide (Son and Kirchner, 2000). In the US, rates of adolescent depression have increased at least 60% in the years 2011-2018 (Twenge et al., 2018). Childhood depression can result in numerous social, academic, and health problems (Grover and Avasthi, 2019;Jaycox et al., 2009;Sekhar et al., 2019). ...
    Article
    Depression rates are increasing among minors. Internet is central to the lives of many minors, and many of them look online for depression information. This report describes minors who attempted to screen themselves for depression in a worldwide online study. Google Ads were used to recruit individuals to a multilingual depression screening study that was meant to target and recruit adults. Of 158,170 individuals accessing the site, 30,396 (19.22%) were minors from 190 countries. Proportions of minors varied considerably between different cultures. Given youth's interest in depression information, online services to ethically and effectively address youth depression are needed.
  • Article
    Background: Worldwide, the vast majority of people have been impacted by COVID-19. While millions of individuals have become infected, billions of individuals have been asked or required by local and national governments to change their behavioral patterns. Previous research on epidemics or traumatic events suggest this can lead to profound behavioral and mental health changes, but rarely are researchers able to track these changes with frequent, near real-time sampling or compare these to previous years of data on the same individuals. Objective: We seek to answer two overarching questions by combining mobile phone sensing and self-reported mental health data among college students participating in a longitudinal study for the past two years. First, have behaviors and mental health changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to previous time periods within the same participants? Second, did behavior and mental health changes track the relative news coverage of COVID-19 in the US media? Methods: Behaviors such as the number of locations visited, distance traveled, duration of phone usage, number of phone unlocks, sleep duration and sedentary time were measured using the StudentLife mobile smartphone sensing app. Depression and anxiety were assessed using weekly self-reported Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMAs) of the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4). Participants were 217 undergraduate students, with 178 students having data during the Winter 2020 term. Differences in behaviors and self-reported mental health collected during the Winter 2020 term (the term in which the coronavirus pandemic started), as compared to previous terms in the same cohort, were modeled using mixed linear models. Results: During the initial COVID-19 impacted academic term (Winter 2020), individuals were more sedentary and reported increased anxiety and depression symptoms (P<.001), relative to the previous academic terms and subsequent academic breaks. Interactions between the Winter 2020 term and week of academic term (linear and quadratic) were significant. In a mixed linear model, phone usage, number of locations visited, and week of the term, were strongly associated with increased coronavirus-related news. When mental health metrics (e.g., depression and anxiety) were added to the previous measures (week of term, number of locations visited, and phone usage), both anxiety (P<.001) and depression (P=.029) were significantly associated with coronavirus-related news. Conclusions: Compared with prior academic terms, individuals in Winter 2020 were more sedentary, anxious, and depressed. A wide variety of behaviors, including increased phone usage, decreased physical activity, and fewer locations visited, are associated with fluctuations in COVID-19 news reporting. While this large-scale shift in mental health and behavior is unsurprising, its characterization is particularly important to help guide the development of methods that could reduce the impact of future catastrophic events on the mental health of the population. Clinicaltrial:
  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate associations among depressive symptoms, trust of healthcare provider, and health behavior in adolescents who live in a rural area. Two hundred twenty-four adolescents aged 14–19 years old attending public high school in the Midwestern United States were surveyed. Results showed a diagnosis of depression, trust of healthcare provider, health awareness, and stress management predicted depressive symptoms in adolescents living in a rural area. Healthcare providers should take extra care to promote trust in the healthcare provider-patient relationship with adolescents and to follow guidelines for annual screening of adolescents for depressive symptoms. Nursing implications include adolescent psychoeducation to improve health awareness and stress management.
  • Article
    Effective ways to reduce sedentary behaviour in adolescents are needed to mitigate the risk of chronic disease and poor mental health. Organised sport participation is the most practiced physical activity during adolescence. However, the influence sport participation has on sedentary behaviours remains unclear. This study investigated the associations between sport participation, total and domain-specific sedentary behaviour and physical activity during the transition from secondary school to university. A 3-year longitudinal survey followed Spanish secondary school students (n = 113) to their first year of university. Generalized linear models, adjusted by gender and year, assessed the relationships between sport participation, total and domain-specific sedentary behaviour and physical activity. Compared with non-sport participants, teenagers who played individual sports from baseline during secondary school spent significantly less total time sitting (− 110.5 min/day at weekends), watching television (− 18.7 min/day at weekends) or using the computer for leisure (− 37.4 min/day weekdays). Those who played team sports from baseline at secondary school spent less time sitting (− 126.4 min/day at weekends) or socialising (− 37 min/day at weekends)Conclusion: From secondary school to university, sport participation–based interventions might be an effective strategy to reduce sitting time spent on some domain-specific behaviours. Promoting sports could reduce the rise of sedentary behaviour during adolescence, a stage where sedentary behaviour evolves.What is Known:• Sitting too much and for too long is an important risk factor during adolescence.• Replacing adolescent’s sedentary time with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity has been associated with a better quality of life.What is New:• Playing sport is associated with spending less time in total SB on the transition from high school to college.• Not all SB domains are linked to sport participation with associations differing from whether participants played individual or team sports.
  • Article
    Adolescents face unprecedented wellbeing challenges, compared to previous generations, and many schools are underprepared to meet these needs. Social emotional learning (SEL) programs help, but could better support moral development. Here we propose a modern approach to gratitude interventions (GI) in schools that addresses critical limitations and provides preliminary results of effectiveness. The GI combines a psychoeducational top-down technique with a bottom-up social-media-app modality that supports the autonomous practice of interpersonal and general gratitude. Compared to students in waitlist/control classes, students in GI classes demonstrated improved outcomes in trait gratitude, mental health, and personal/social wellbeing after 6 weeks. Students’ use of the app also demonstrated more grateful personality behaviors and personal engagement. Lastly, we examined the importance of interpersonal gratitude in general and found that expressing thanks contributed to improvements in SEL competencies among waitlist/control students 6 weeks later. Implications for improving character/SEL programs through school GIs are discussed.
  • Article
    Objective In this study, we explore how daily Internet and social media use are related to feeling addicted to technological devices and describe the sociodemographic indicators of device addiction for U.S. adults. Methods Using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, we estimate a series of logistic regression analyses predicting device addiction. Results We find that social media use, rather than Internet use alone, is a stronger indicator of device addiction. Women report more addiction than men, and employment and education are both associated with increased addiction. Results describe device addiction as a felt reality for U.S. adults of all ages, while also noting particular social and demographic class characteristics for which these dilemmas may be more acute. Conclusion “iAddiction” appears to be endemic to general conditions of postscarcity and concentrated in those with particularly high situations of ontological security. Directions for constructive theory building in the sociology of technology are elaborated.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Little is known about how compulsive Internet use (CIU) relates developmentally to different aspects of emotion regulation. Do young people engage in CIU because they have difficulty regulating emotions (the "consequence" model), does CIU lead to emotion regulation problems (the "antecedent" model), or are there reciprocal influences? We examined the longitudinal relations between CIU and 6 facets of difficulties in emotion regulation. Adolescents (N = 2,809) across 17 Australian schools completed measures yearly from Grades 8 (MAge = 13.7) to 11. Structural equations modeling revealed that CIU preceded the development of some aspects of emotion dysregulation, such as difficulties setting goals and being clear about emotions, but not others (the antecedent model). We found no evidence that emotion regulation difficulties preceded the development of increases in CIU (the consequence model). Our findings indicate that teaching adolescents general emotion regulation skills may not be as effective in reducing CIU as more direct approaches of limiting Internet use. We discuss the implications of our findings for interventions designed to reduce CIU and highlight issues for future research. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Book
    Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - Relating Through Technology - by Jeffrey A. Hall
  • Article
    Recent scholarship has been divided on whether an observed increase in suicides in the United States among teenagers and preteens (12‐18) can be attributed to an increased use in social screen media beginning in 2009. If these concerns are accurate effect sizes for the relationship between screen use and suicide should increase over the 16 years since 2001. The current study used the Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data (n = 45,992) from 2001‐2017 to track effect sizes for screen/depression correlations, controlling for age and gender. A second dataset from the UK Understanding Society dataset (ns for each wave ranged between 3,536 and 4,850) was used to study associations between time spent on social media and emotional problems. Meta‐regression was be used to examine whether effect sizes increase across time. Results generally did not support the hypothesis that effect sizes between screen and social media use are increasing over time. Aside from the trends over time, for any given year, most effect sizes were below the r = .10 threshold used for interpretation with the exception of computer use which was just at that threshold. It is concluded that screens and social media use are unlikely to bear major responsibility for youth suicide trends.
  • Chapter
    Full-text available
    Technological development may be alternately understood as handmaid to mission progress or as agent of secularization. It is perhaps best understood as both/and, much like the proverbial loose cannon on board a sailing vessel of wartimes past. If not fixed adequately to its mounting, a cannon could move around with the roll of the vessel, pointing anywhere and being as dangerous to oneself as to one’s enemies. This chapter reviews literature around this conversation—considering especially the growing impact of social media—and argues for the leverage of technology for mission.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    This research uses photo elicitation to examine the lived experience of the contemporary college student. Twenty-one participants took photographs of their college experience for a week, selected the five pictures that best represented their college experience, and then participated in a semi-structured interview to discuss the pictures. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for themes. Findings suggest campus places, class and class activities, commuting, leisure activities, study space, and work as the most salient spaces (places and activities) of the contemporary college student experience. We also identified a life of service and purpose, school pride, relationships, stress relief, and “typical” as the most salient meanings ascribed those experiences. Findings also examine in what spaces meanings occur. These findings not only provide insight into the experience of the contemporary college student, but also lead to practical implications related to commuting, stress relief, study spaces, and integrating service activities into the classroom.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    ABSTRACT Background: Media is one of the important parts of the life of school children, especially those aged between 13 to 17 years. It has both positive and negative impacts on children. It affects both physical and mental health; there will be a prominent impact on their studies also. Nowadays everyone has the accessibility of television, mobile, etc in India. This study mainly aims to assess the impact of screen-based media (SBM) and screen time among middle adolescents and the association of socio-demographic status with the usage of SBM. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Government and Private schools of Mysuru district from November to December 2019. The study included 180 school children between the age group of 13 to 17 years through simple random sampling. A semi-structured interview questionnaire was used. Results: Mobile formed the maximum used SBM. Out of the total screen time, time contributed by television 90.5%, mobile 95.6%, and both television and mobile 91.7% will be more followed by other SBM. The proportion of children having the screen time of maybe 3 hrs was found to be 25.6% and more than 3 hrs was 5.9% among the total study population. There is an association between SBM usage and the socio-demographic status i.e. age, type of family, father's education, and father occupation with the statistical significance of p value <0.05. Conclusions: According to the current study, there is a high proportion of school children using SBM. So, there is a need to create awareness regarding the use of SBM and its impact on children among parents, teachers, and children.
  • Why are today’s teenagers feeling so anxious?
    • Anderssen E.
  • Article
    Over the past decade, the interpersonal theory of suicide has contributed to substantial advances in the scientific and clinical understanding of suicide and related conditions. The interpersonal theory of suicide posits that suicidal desire emerges when individuals experience intractable feelings of perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness and near-lethal or lethal suicidal behavior occurs in the presence of suicidal desire and capability for suicide. A growing number of studies have tested these posited pathways in various samples; however, these findings have yet to be evaluated meta-analytically. This paper aimed to (a) conduct a systematic review of the unpublished and published, peer-reviewed literature examining the relationship between interpersonal theory constructs and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, (b) conduct meta-analyses testing the interpersonal theory hypotheses, and (c) evaluate the influence of various moderators on these relationships. Four electronic bibliographic databases were searched through the end of March, 2016: PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. Hypothesis-driven meta-analyses using random effects models were conducted using 122 distinct unpublished and published samples. Findings supported the interpersonal theory: the interaction between thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness was significantly associated with suicidal ideation; and the interaction between thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and capability for suicide was significantly related to a greater number of prior suicide attempts. However, effect sizes for these interactions were modest. Alternative configurations of theory variables were similarly useful for predicting suicide risk as theory-consistent pathways. We conclude with limitations and recommendations for the interpersonal theory as a framework for understanding the suicidal spectrum.
  • Article
    Background: Psychological autopsy studies consistently report that the rate of detected mental disorders among suicide decedents is below 100%. This implies three possibilities: (a) a subset of suicide decedents did not have a mental disorder at the time of death; (b) all suicide decedents suffered from a mental disorder, but some were undetected due to methodological limitations; and/or (c) suicide decedents with an undetected mental disorder displayed significant and perhaps subclinical features of a mental disorder. Objective: In this article, we examined these possibilities by evaluating the differences in symptoms and stressors between suicide decedents who were undiagnosed and those diagnosed with a mental disorder at the time of death. Method: We reviewed 130 case studies of community-based suicide decedents originally described in Robins' (1981) psychological autopsy study. Results: Without exception, suicide decedents in Robins' sample suffered either from a clearly diagnosable mental disorder or displayed features indicative of a significant, even if subclinical, presentation of a mental disorder. Undiagnosed and diagnosed suicide decedents did not significantly differ with regards to demographics, violence of suicide method, suicide attempt history, the number and intensity of stressful life events preceding death, and whether their death was a murder-suicide. Conclusion: Although clearly not all who suffer from mental disorders will die by suicide, these findings imply that all who die by suicide appear to exhibit, at minimum, subclinical psychiatric symptoms with the great majority showing prominent clinical symptoms. We conclude with clinical implications and recommendations for future study.
  • Article
    This meta-analysis examines the relationship between time spent on social networking sites and psychological well-being factors, namely self-esteem, life satisfaction, loneliness, and depression. Sixty-one studies consisting of 67 independent samples involving 19,652 participants were identified. The mean correlation between time spent on social networking sites and psychological well-being was low at r = -0.07. The correlations between time spent on social networking sites and positive indicators (self-esteem and life satisfaction) were close to 0, whereas those between time spent on social networking sites and negative indicators (depression and loneliness) were weak. The effects of publication outlet, site on which users spent time, scale of time spent, and participant age and gender were not significant. As most included studies used student samples, future research should be conducted to examine this relationship for adults.
  • Article
    Objectives: Most US studies of national trends in medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids have focused on adults. Given the limited understanding in these trends among adolescents, we examine national trends in the medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids among high school seniors between 1976 and 2015. Methods: The data used for the study come from the Monitoring the Future study of adolescents. Forty cohorts of nationally representative samples of high school seniors (modal age 18) were used to examine self-reported medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids. Results: Lifetime prevalence of medical use of prescription opioids peaked in both 1989 and 2002 and remained stable until a recent decline from 2013 through 2015. Lifetime nonmedical use of prescription opioids was less prevalent and highly correlated with medical use of prescription opioids over this 40-year period. Adolescents who reported both medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids were more likely to indicate medical use of prescription opioids before initiating nonmedical use. Conclusions: Prescription opioid exposure is common among US adolescents. Long-term trends indicate that one-fourth of high school seniors self-reported medical or nonmedical use of prescription opioids. Medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids has declined recently and remained highly correlated over the past 4 decades. Sociodemographic differences and risky patterns involving medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids should be taken into consideration in clinical practice to improve opioid analgesic prescribing and reduce adverse consequences associated with prescription opioid use among adolescents.
  • Article
    Does communication on social network sites (SNSs) or instant messengers (IMs) reinforce or displace face-to-face (FtF) communication, and how do the 3 channels affect loneliness and life satisfaction? Using cross-lagged structural equation modeling in a longitudinal and representative sample from Germany, we found that SNS communication increased both FtF and IM communication 6 months later. Likewise, IM communication at T1 increased SNS communication at T2. FtF, SNS, and IM communication did not affect loneliness, and FtF and IM communication did not change life satisfaction. However, communication on SNSs slightly increased life satisfaction. Tus, the data indicated that conversing via SNSs and IM has a mainly reinforcing effect and that communicating via SNSs can enhance life satisfaction several months later.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Major depression is a debilitating condition characterised by diverse neurocognitive and behavioural deficits. Nevertheless, our species-typical capacity for depressed mood implies that it serves an adaptive function. Here we apply an interdisciplinary theory of brain function to explain depressed mood and its clinical manifestations. Combining insights from the free-energy principle (FEP) with evolutionary theorising in psychology, we argue that depression reflects an adaptive response to perceived threats of aversive social outcomes (e.g., exclusion) that minimises the likelihood of surprising interpersonal exchanges (i.e., those with unpredictable outcomes). We suggest that psychopathology typically arises from ineffectual attempts to alleviate interpersonal difficulties and/or hyper-reactive neurobiological responses to social stress (i.e., uncertainty), which often stems from early experience that social uncertainty is difficult to resolve.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Face-to-face social interactions enhance well-being. With the ubiquity of social media, important questions have arisen about the impact of online social interactions. In the present study, we assessed the associations of both online and offline social networks with several subjective measures of well-being. We used 3 waves (2013, 2014, and 2015) of data from 5,208 subjects in the nationally representative Gallup Panel Social Network Study survey, including social network measures, in combination with objective measures of Facebook use. We investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and body mass index. Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being. For example, a 1-standard-deviation increase in "likes clicked" (clicking "like" on someone else's content), "links clicked" (clicking a link to another site or article), or "status updates" (updating one's own Facebook status) was associated with a decrease of 5%-8% of a standard deviation in self-reported mental health. These associations were robust to multivariate cross-sectional analyses, as well as to 2-wave prospective analyses. The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible tradeoff between offline and online relationships.
  • Article
    Objectives: This study examined national trends in 12-month prevalence of major depressive episodes (MDEs) in adolescents and young adults overall and in different sociodemographic groups, as well as trends in depression treatment between 2005 and 2014. Methods: Data were drawn from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health for 2005 to 2014, which are annual cross-sectional surveys of the US general population. Participants included 172 495 adolescents aged 12 to 17 and 178 755 adults aged 18 to 25. Time trends in 12-month prevalence of MDEs were examined overall and in different subgroups, as were time trends in the use of treatment services. Results: The 12-month prevalence of MDEs increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8% to 9.6% in young adults (both P < .001). The increase was larger and statistically significant only in the age range of 12 to 20 years. The trends remained significant after adjustment for substance use disorders and sociodemographic factors. Mental health care contacts overall did not change over time; however, the use of specialty mental health providers increased in adolescents and young adults, and the use of prescription medications and inpatient hospitalizations increased in adolescents. Conclusions: The prevalence of depression in adolescents and young adults has increased in recent years. In the context of little change in mental health treatments, trends in prevalence translate into a growing number of young people with untreated depression. The findings call for renewed efforts to expand service capacity to best meet the mental health care needs of this age group.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    In this month’s issue of Pediatrics , Mojtabai and colleagues1 sound an alarm with 2 critical public health updates; depression is significantly on the rise in adolescents, with a 12-month prevalence of 11.3% in 2014 versus 8.7% in 2005. Furthermore, despite this disturbing development, the percentage of young people with a history of past-year major depressive episodes seen by primary care providers for depression care is only ∼10% and has not appreciably budged in the past decade. The second point is disappointing because it occurs despite a 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics statement,2 which could have possibly had an impact on the comparison between 2005 and 2014. This statement strongly encouraged all pediatricians to recognize and identify the risk factors for suicide, then the third leading cause of death for adolescents 15 to 19 years old, of which depression was and remains … Address correspondence to Anne Glowinski, MD, MPE, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Washington University in St Louis, 4444 Forest Park Ave, St Louis, MO 63108. E-mail: glowinsa{at}wustl.edu
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Gender equality has varied across time, with dramatic shifts in countries such as the United States in the past several decades. Although differences across societies and changes within societies in gender equality have been well documented, the causes of these changes remain poorly understood. Scholars have posited that such shifts have been driven by specific events (such as Title IX and Roe versus Wade), broader social movements (such as feminism and women’s liberation) or general levels of social development (for example, modernization theory1). Although these factors are likely to have been partly responsible for temporal variations in gender equality, they provide fairly intermediate explanations void of a comprehensive framework. Here, we use an ecological framework to explore the role of key ecological dimensions on change in gender equality over time. We focus on four key types of ecological threats/affordances that have previously been linked to cultural variations in human behaviour as potential explanations for cultural change in gender equality: infectious disease, resource scarcity, warfare and climatic stress. We show that decreases in pathogen prevalence in the United States over six decades (1951–2013) are linked to reductions in gender inequality and that such shifts in rates of infectious disease precede shifts in gender inequality. Results were robust, holding when we controlled for other ecological dimensions and for collectivism and conservative ideological identification (indicators of more broadly traditional cultural norms and attitudes). Furthermore, the effects were partially mediated by reduced teenage birth rates (a sign that people are adopting slower life history strategies), suggesting that life history strategies statistically account for the relationship between pathogen prevalence and gender inequality over time. Finally, we replicated our key effects in a different society, using comparable data from the United Kingdom over a period of seven decades (1945–2014).
  • Article
    Most people use Facebook on a daily basis; few are aware of the consequences. Based on a 1-week experiment with 1,095 participants in late 2015 in Denmark, this study provides causal evidence that Facebook use affects our well-being negatively. By comparing the treatment group (participants who took a break from Facebook) with the control group (participants who kept using Facebook), it was demonstrated that taking a break from Facebook has positive effects on the two dimensions of well-being: our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that these effects were significantly greater for heavy Facebook users, passive Facebook users, and users who tend to envy others on Facebook.
  • Article
    Importance Previous analyses of obesity trends among children and adolescents showed an increase between 1988-1994 and 1999-2000, but no change between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012, except for a significant decline among children aged 2 to 5 years. Objectives To provide estimates of obesity and extreme obesity prevalence for children and adolescents for 2011-2014 and investigate trends by age between 1988-1994 and 2013-2014. Design, Setting, and Participants Children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years with measured weight and height in the 1988-1994 through 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Exposures Survey period. Main Outcomes and Measures Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the sex-specific 95th percentile on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI-for-age growth charts. Extreme obesity was defined as a BMI at or above 120% of the sex-specific 95th percentile on the CDC BMI-for-age growth charts. Detailed estimates are presented for 2011-2014. The analyses of linear and quadratic trends in prevalence were conducted using 9 survey periods. Trend analyses between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 also were conducted. Results Measurements from 40 780 children and adolescents (mean age, 11.0 years; 48.8% female) between 1988-1994 and 2013-2014 were analyzed. Among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, the prevalence of obesity in 2011-2014 was 17.0% (95% CI, 15.5%-18.6%) and extreme obesity was 5.8% (95% CI, 4.9%-6.8%). Among children aged 2 to 5 years, obesity increased from 7.2% (95% CI, 5.8%-8.8%) in 1988-1994 to 13.9% (95% CI, 10.7%-17.7%) (P < .001) in 2003-2004 and then decreased to 9.4% (95% CI, 6.8%-12.6%) (P = .03) in 2013-2014. Among children aged 6 to 11 years, obesity increased from 11.3% (95% CI, 9.4%-13.4%) in 1988-1994 to 19.6% (95% CI, 17.1%-22.4%) (P < .001) in 2007-2008, and then did not change (2013-2014: 17.4% [95% CI, 13.8%-21.4%]; P = .44). Obesity increased among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years between 1988-1994 (10.5% [95% CI, 8.8%-12.5%]) and 2013-2014 (20.6% [95% CI, 16.2%-25.6%]; P < .001) as did extreme obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years (3.6% [95% CI, 2.5%-5.0%] in 1988-1994 to 4.3% [95% CI, 3.0%-6.1%] in 2013-2014; P = .02) and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years (2.6% [95% CI, 1.7%-3.9%] in 1988-1994 to 9.1% [95% CI, 7.0%-11.5%] in 2013-2014; P < .001). No significant trends were observed between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 (P value range, .09-.87). Conclusions and Relevance In this nationally representative study of US children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, the prevalence of obesity in 2011-2014 was 17.0% and extreme obesity was 5.8%. Between 1988-1994 and 2013-2014, the prevalence of obesity increased until 2003-2004 and then decreased in children aged 2 to 5 years, increased until 2007-2008 and then leveled off in children aged 6 to 11 years, and increased among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years.
  • Article
    Using data from the 1995 and 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, the authors' study examined children's family instability from birth to age 12, emphasizing variation by racial and ethnic group. Period and cohort estimates revealed little change in children's experiences of family transitions during the past decade. Family instability levels were comparable for White and Hispanic children, and this pattern persisted over time. However, there was an increase in family instability among Black children, reflecting growth in the share of children born to single mothers who eventually formed partnerships. Indeed, children born to single mothers in the more recent cohort experienced more family transitions, on average, than did the earlier cohort, but family instability for children born to cohabiting mothers remained unchanged. This study elucidates the various family life course trajectories children experience, revealing how these patterns differ depending on family context at birth and by racial and ethnic group.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Key findings: Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality •From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006. •Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10-74. •The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10-14, and for males, those aged 45-64. •The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4%), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1%). •Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Background: Depression is a major health concern for college students due to its substantial morbidity and mortality. Although low parental education has been identified as a factor in depression in college students, the mechanisms through which parental educational achievement affects students' depression are not well understood. We tested whether adverse family and college environments mediate the relationship between parental educational level and depression among Chinese college students. Methods: A total of 5180 respondents were selected using a cross-sectional survey. We examined the association of parental education, adverse family and college environments with depression in college students using the Adolescent Self-Rating Life Events Checklist, Beck Depression Inventory and socio-demographic questionnaires. Results: Lower parental educational level is significantly correlated with depression in college students in our sample. Additionally, low family economic status, paternal or maternal unemployment, long periods spent apart from family, family conflicts, having been scolded and beaten by parents, poor or dissatisfying test performance, conflict with friends, heavy course load and failure in selection processes are also associated with parental education. Low family economic status, paternal or maternal unemployment, long periods spent apart from family, family conflicts, poor or dissatisfying test performance, conflict with friends and heavy course load mediated the relationship between parental education and depression in college students. Conclusions: Adverse family and college environments could explain the influence of parental educational level on depression in college students.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Over the last decade, research into "addictive technological behaviors" has substantially increased. Research has also demonstrated strong associations between addictive use of technology and comorbid psychiatric disorders. In the present study, 23,533 adults (mean age 35.8 years, ranging from 16 to 88 years) participated in an online cross-sectional survey examining whether demographic variables, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression could explain variance in addictive use (i.e., compulsive and excessive use associated with negative outcomes) of two types of modern online technologies: social media and video games. Correlations between symptoms of addictive technology use and mental disorder symptoms were all positive and significant, including the weak interrelationship between the two addictive technological behaviors. Age appeared to be inversely related to the addictive use of these technologies. Being male was significantly associated with addictive use of video games, whereas being female was significantly associated with addictive use of social media. Being single was positively related to both addictive social networking and video gaming. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that demographic factors explained between 11 and 12% of the variance in addictive technology use. The mental health variables explained between 7 and 15% of the variance. The study significantly adds to our understanding of mental health symptoms and their role in addictive use of modern technology, and suggests that the concept of Internet use disorder (i.e., "Internet addiction") as a unified construct is not warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record
  • Article
    The use of self-report surveys for suicide risk screening is a key first step in identifying currently suicidal individuals and connecting them with appropriate follow-up assessment and care. Online methods for suicide risk screening are becoming more common, yet they present a number of complexities compared with traditional methods. This study aimed to assess whether forcing item responses may unintentionally hide or misrepresent otherwise useful missing suicide risk data. We investigated in secondary analyses of 3 independent samples of undergraduates (ns = 1,306; 694; 172) whether participants who chose not to respond specifically to current suicide risk screening items (i.e., Nondisclosers) scored significantly different from other risk response groups (i.e., Deniers, Lower-Risk Endorsers, and Higher-Risk Endorsers) on auxiliary measures related to suicidality. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) tests for each sample revealed that Nondisclosers were rare (ns = 7, 6, 7) and scored significantly higher than Deniers and similarly to Endorsers on suicide risk related measures. In 1 sample, Nondisclosers tended to score higher than all groups on suicide risk related measures. These findings suggest that nondisclosure for suicide risk screening questions is a preferred option for a distinct group of respondents who are likely at elevated suicide risk. Allowing for and flagging Nondisclosers for follow-up suicide risk assessment may be an ethical and feasible way to enhance the sensitivity of online suicide risk screenings for weary respondents, who if forced, may choose to underreport their suicide risk and misrepresent data. (PsycINFO Database Record
  • Article
    Full-text available
    We propose that generational differences are meaningful despite some theoretical and methodological challenges (cf. Costanza & Finkelstein, 2015). We will address five main issues: operationalizing generations, measuring generational differences, theoretical models of generations, mechanisms of generational change, and the importance of science versus stereotypes.
  • Article
    Results from longitudinal studies on sleep duration and incidence of depression remain controversial. PubMed and Web of Science updated on October 22, 2014 were searched for eligible publications. Pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using a random-effects model. Seven prospective studies were included, involving 25,271 participants for short sleep duration and 23,663 participants for long sleep duration. Compared with the normal sleep duration, the pooled RR for depression was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.04-1.64; I(2) = 0%) for the short sleep duration overall. For long sleep duration, the pooled RR was 1.42 (95% CI, 1.04-1.92; I(2) = 0%). The associations between short or long sleep duration and risk of depression did not substantially change in sensitivity and subgroup analyses. No evidence of publication bias was found. This meta-analysis indicates that short and long sleep duration was significantly associated with increased risk of depression in adults. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Article
    A 39-item life-event questionnaire was administered to 1,018 adolescents, who indicated the perceived desirability of each event and whether the event had actually happened to them either during the past year or more than one year earlier. A multidimensional scaling revealed seven interpretable dimensions of stress: Family/Parents, Accident/Illness, Sexuality, Autonomy, Deviance, Relocation, and Distress. Each dimension was scored for desirability, and occurrence was summed using unit weighting. Sex, race, and grade-level differences were evaluated for each item and scale score. The scales calculated for the two different time periods revealed that stress is correlated over time only for corresponding areas. Finally, the stress scales were related to measures of health and psychological functioning through canonical and product-moment correlation analyses; distinct patterns of association were revealed. Alternative methods of scoring life events are evaluated.
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    Adolescents spend increasingly more time on electronic devices, and sleep deficiency rising in adolescents constitutes a major public health concern. The aim of the present study was to investigate daytime screen use and use of electronic devices before bedtime in relation to sleep. A large cross-sectional population-based survey study from 2012, the youth@hordaland study, in Hordaland County in Norway. Cross-sectional general community-based study. 9846 adolescents from three age cohorts aged 16-19. The main independent variables were type and frequency of electronic devices at bedtime and hours of screen-time during leisure time. Sleep variables calculated based on self-report including bedtime, rise time, time in bed, sleep duration, sleep onset latency and wake after sleep onset. Adolescents spent a large amount of time during the day and at bedtime using electronic devices. Daytime and bedtime use of electronic devices were both related to sleep measures, with an increased risk of short sleep duration, long sleep onset latency and increased sleep deficiency. A dose-response relationship emerged between sleep duration and use of electronic devices, exemplified by the association between PC use and risk of less than 5 h of sleep (OR=2.70, 95% CI 2.14 to 3.39), and comparable lower odds for 7-8 h of sleep (OR=1.64, 95% CI 1.38 to 1.96). Use of electronic devices is frequent in adolescence, during the day as well as at bedtime. The results demonstrate a negative relation between use of technology and sleep, suggesting that recommendations on healthy media use could include restrictions on electronic devices. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
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    Between 1972 and 2012, Americans became significantly less trusting of each other and less confident in large institutions, such as the news media, business, religious organizations, the medical establishment, Congress, and the presidency. Levels of trust and confidence, key indicators of social capital, reached all-time or near-all-time lows in 2012 in the nationally representative General Social Survey of adults (1972-2012; N = 37,493) and the nationally representative Monitoring the Future survey of 12th graders (1976-2012; N = 101,633). Hierarchical modeling analyses separating the effects of time period, generation, and age show that this decline in social capital is primarily a time-period effect. Confidence in institutions is also influenced by generation, with Baby Boomers lowest. Trust was lowest when income inequality was high, and confidence in institutions was lowest when poverty rates were high. The prediction of a sustained revival in social capital after 2001 seems to have been premature.
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    Considerable research on computer-mediated communication has examined online communication between strangers, but little is known about the emotional experience of connectedness between friends in digital environments. However, adolescents and emerging adults use digital communication primarily to communicate with existing friends rather than to make new connections. We compared feelings of emotional connectedness as they occurred in person and through digital communication among pairs of close friends in emerging adulthood. Fifty-eight young women, recruited in pairs of close friends, engaged in four conversations each: in-person, video chat, audio chat, and instant messaging (IM). Bonding in each condition was measured through both self-report and affiliation cues (i.e., nonverbal behaviors associated with the emotional experience of bonding). Participants reported feeling connected in all conditions. However, bonding, as measured by both self-report and affiliation cues, differed significantly across conditions, with the greatest bonding during in-person interaction, followed by video chat, audio chat, and IM in that order. Compared with other participants, those who used video chat more frequently reported greater bonding with friends through video chat in our study. Compared with other participants, those who spoke on the phone more frequently with their participating friend reported greater bonding during audio chat. Use of textual affiliation cues like emoticons, typed laughter, and excessive letter capitalization during IM related to increased bonding experience during IM. Nonetheless, a significantly lower level of bonding was experienced in IM compared with in-person communication. Because adolescent and emerging adults’ digital communication is primarily text-based, this finding has significant real-world implications.
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    Online social networking is a pervasive but empirically understudied phenomenon. Strong public opinions on its consequences exist but are backed up by little empirical evidence and almost no causally conclusive, experimental research. The current study tested the psychological effects of posting status updates on Facebook using an experimental design. For 1 week, participants in the experimental condition were asked to post more than they usually do, whereas participants in the control condition received no instructions. Participants added a lab “Research Profile” as a Facebook friend allowing for the objective documentation of protocol compliance, participants’ status updates, and friends’ responses. Results revealed (1) that the experimentally induced increase in status updating activity reduced loneliness, (2) that the decrease in loneliness was due to participants feeling more connected to their friends on a daily basis, and (3) that the effect of posting on loneliness was independent of direct social feedback (i.e., responses) by friends.
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    Over 500 million people interact daily with Facebook. Yet, whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. Our results indicate that Facebook use predicts negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people "directly" did not predict these negative outcomes. They were also not moderated by the size of people's Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.
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    The aim of this study was to improve our insight into the relation between Internet communication and well-being. Drawing on a survey of 816 adolescents, we initially found that Internet communication was negatively related to well-being. However, when adolescents’ (a) closeness to friends and (b) tendency to talk with strangers online were included in our structural equation model, an opposite pattern of results emerged. First, the direct negative relation between Internet communication and well-being disappeared. Second, via the mediator closeness to friends, Internet communication showed a positive influence on well-being. Third, not Internet communication per se, but Internet communication with strangers accounted for a negative effect on well-being. Fourth, the effects of both Internet communication and Internet communication with strangers on well-being were most adverse for lonely adolescents.
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    Previous research produced conflicting results on whether narcissistic personality traits have increased among American college students over the generations. Confounding by campus may explain the discrepancy. Study 1 updates a nationwide meta-analysis of college students' scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) and controls for campus (k = 107; N = 49,818). In Study 2, the authors examine NPI scores among the students on one university campus, the University of South Alabama, between 1994 and 2009 (N = 4,152). Both studies demonstrate significant increases in narcissism over time (Study 1 d =.37, 1982-2008, when campus is controlled; Study 2 d =.37, 1994-2009). These results support a generational differences model of individual personality traits reflecting changes in culture.
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    Young people are sleeping less. Short sleep duration has a range of negative consequences including a hypothesized link with psychological distress, which has yet to be studied Prospective cohort study Community-based sample from Australia Twenty thousand (20,822) young adults (aged 17-24) identified through the state vehicle licensing authority. A random sample (n = 5000) was approached for follow-up 12-18 months later, with 2837 providing full data. Psychological distress, determined by a Kessler 10 score > 21, at baseline; and as both onset and persistence of distress at follow-up. Shorter sleep duration was linearly associated with prevalent psychological distress: relative risk (RR) 1.14 (95% CI 1.12 to 1.15). Only the very short (< 5 h) sleepers among those not distressed at baseline had an increased risk for onset of psychological distress (RR 3.25 [95% CI 1.84, 5.75]). Of 945 cohort participants reporting psychological distress at baseline, 419 (44%) were distressed at follow-up. Each hour less of sleep increased the risk of psychological distress persisting after adjustment for potential confounding variables: RR 1.05 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.10). Long sleep duration showed no association with distress at any time point. Self-reported shorter sleep duration is linearly associated with prevalent and persistent psychological distress in young adults. In contrast, only the very short sleepers had a raised risk of new onset of distress. Different approaches to sleep duration measurement yield different results and should guide any interventions to improve subjective sleep duration in young adults.
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    Evidence about trends in adolescent emotional problems (depression and anxiety) is inconclusive, because few studies have used comparable measures and samples at different points in time. We compared rates of adolescent emotional problems in two nationally representative English samples of youth 20 years apart using identical symptom screens in each survey. Nationally representative community samples of 16-17-year-olds living in England in 1986 and 2006 were compared. In 1986, 4524 adolescents and 7120 parents of young people participated in the age-16-year follow-up of the 1970 British Cohort Study. In 2006, 719 adolescents and 734 parents participated in a follow-up of children sampled from the 2002/2003 Health Surveys for England. Adolescents completed the Malaise Inventory and 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Parents completed the Rutter-A scale. Individual symptoms of depression and anxiety were coded combining across relevant questionnaire items. Young people also reported frequency of feeling anxious or depressed. Youth- and parent-reported emotional problems were more prevalent in 2006 for girls, and rates of parent-reported problems increased for boys. Twice as many young people reported frequent feelings of depression or anxiety in 2006 as in 1986. Some symptoms showed marked change in prevalence over time (e.g., worry, irritability, fatigue), whereas others showed no change (e.g., loss of enjoyment, worthlessness). There was no evidence of differential trends in emotional problems for young people from socially advantaged and disadvantaged or intact and non-intact families. Changes in family structure and ethnic composition did not account for trends in youth emotional problems. The study provides evidence for a substantial increase in adolescent emotional problems in England over recent decades, especially among girls.
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    Suicidal behavior is a major problem worldwide and, at the same time, has received relatively little empirical attention. This relative lack of empirical attention may be due in part to a relative absence of theory development regarding suicidal behavior. The current article presents the interpersonal theory of suicidal behavior. We propose that the most dangerous form of suicidal desire is caused by the simultaneous presence of two interpersonal constructs-thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness (and hopelessness about these states)-and further that the capability to engage in suicidal behavior is separate from the desire to engage in suicidal behavior. According to the theory, the capability for suicidal behavior emerges, via habituation and opponent processes, in response to repeated exposure to physically painful and/or fear-inducing experiences. In the current article, the theory's hypotheses are more precisely delineated than in previous presentations (Joiner, 2005), with the aim of inviting scientific inquiry and potential falsification of the theory's hypotheses.
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    Several recent, large epidemiologic and family studies suggest important temporal changes in the rates of major depression: an increase in the rates in the cohorts born after World War II; a decrease in the age of onset with an increase in the late teenaged and early adult years; an increase between 1960 and 1975 in the rates of depression for all ages; a persistent gender effect, with the risk of depression consistently two to three times higher among women than men across all adult ages; a persistent family effect, with the risk about two to three times higher in first-degree relatives as compared with controls; and the suggestion of a narrowing of the differential risk to men and women due to a greater increase in risk of depression among young men. These trends, drawn from studies using comparable methods and modern diagnostic criteria, are evident in the United States, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and New Zealand, but not in comparable studies conducted in Korea and Puerto Rico and of Mexican-Americans living in the United States. These cohort changes cannot be fully attributed to artifacts of reporting, recall, mortality, or labeling and have implications for understanding the etiology of depression and for clinical practice.
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    A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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    Existing evidence points to a substantial rise in psychosocial disorders affecting young people over the past 50 years (Rutter & Smith, 1995). However, there are major methodological challenges in providing conclusive answers about secular changes in disorder. Comparisons of rates of disorder at different time points are often affected by changes in diagnostic criteria, differences in assessment methods, and changes in official reporting practices. Few studies have examined this issue using the same instruments at each time point. The current study assessed the extent to which conduct, hyperactive and emotional problems have become more common over a 25-year period in three general population samples of UK adolescents. The samples used in this study were the adolescent sweeps of the National Child Development Study and the 1970 Birth Cohort Study, and the 1999 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey. Comparable questionnaires were completed by parents of 15-16-year-olds at each time point (1974, 1986, and 1999). Results showed a substantial increase in adolescent conduct problems over the 25-year study period that has affected males and females, all social classes and all family types. There was also evidence for a recent rise in emotional problems, but mixed evidence in relation to rates of hyperactive behaviour. Further analyses using longitudinal data from the first two cohorts showed that long-term outcomes for adolescents with conduct problems were closely similar. This provided evidence that observed trends were unaffected by possible changes in reporting thresholds.
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    The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of friend networking sites (e.g., Friendster, MySpace) for adolescents' self-esteem and well-being. We conducted a survey among 881 adolescents (10-19-year-olds) who had an online profile on a Dutch friend networking site. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the frequency with which adolescents used the site had an indirect effect on their social self-esteem and well-being. The use of the friend networking site stimulated the number of relationships formed on the site, the frequency with which adolescents received feedback on their profiles, and the tone (i.e., positive vs. negative) of this feedback. Positive feedback on the profiles enhanced adolescents' social self-esteem and well-being, whereas negative feedback decreased their self-esteem and well-being.
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    Both the professional and the general media have recently published concerns about an 'epidemic' of child and adolescent depression. Reasons for this concern include (1) increases in antidepressant prescriptions, (2) retrospective recall by successive birth cohorts of adults, (3) rising adolescent suicide rates until 1990, and (4) evidence of an increase in emotional problems across three cohorts of British adolescents. Epidemiologic studies of children born between 1965 and 1996 were reviewed and a meta-analysis conducted of all studies that used structured diagnostic interviews to make formal diagnoses of depression on representative population samples of participants up to age 18. The effect of year of birth on prevalence was estimated, controlling for age, sex, sample size, taxonomy (e.g., DSM vs. ICD), measurement instrument, and time-frame of the interview (current, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months). Twenty-six studies were identified, generating close to 60,000 observations on children born between 1965 and 1996 who had received at least one structured psychiatric interview capable of making a formal diagnosis of depression. Rates of depression showed no effect of year of birth. There was little effect of taxonomy, measurement instrument, or time-frame of interview. The overall prevalence estimates were: under 13, 2.8% (standard error (SE) .5%); 13-18 5.6% (SE .3%); 13-18 girls: 5.9% (SE .3%); 13-18 boys: 4.6% (SE .3%). When concurrent assessment rather than retrospective recall is used, there is no evidence for an increased prevalence of child or adolescent depression over the past 30 years. Public perception of an 'epidemic' may arise from heightened awareness of a disorder that was long under-diagnosed by clinicians.
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    Activity scheduling is a behavioral treatment of depression in which patients learn to monitor their mood and daily activities, and how to increase the number of pleasant activities and to increase positive interactions with their environment. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized effect studies of activity scheduling. Sixteen studies with 780 subjects were included. The pooled effect size indicating the difference between intervention and control conditions at post-test was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.60 - 1.15). This is a large effect. Heterogeneity was low in all analyses. The comparisons with other psychological treatments at post-test resulted in a non-significant pooled effect size of 0.13 in favor of activity scheduling. In ten studies activity scheduling was compared to cognitive therapy, and the pooled effect size indicating the difference between these two types of treatment was 0.02. The changes from post-test to follow-up for activity scheduling were non-significant, indicating that the benefits of the treatments were retained at follow-up. The differences between activity scheduling and cognitive therapy at follow-up were also non-significant. Activity scheduling is an attractive treatment for depression, not only because it is relatively uncomplicated, time-efficient and does not require complex skills from patients or therapist, but also because this meta-analysis found clear indications that it is effective.