Categories: Health & Fitness

The age at which you have your first smartphone would impact mental health

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The age at which a child acquires their first smartphone would be determining for his future mental health, according to a new study conducted by Sapien Labs, a non-profit organization based in Washington, USA.

Conducted among 27,959 young people aged 18 to 24, mainly from 41 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, South Asia and Africa, the study reveals that the later we acquire his first smartphone, the better our mental health will be as adults. And so, conversely, the younger we have our first smartphone, the more it will harm our mental health in adulthood. Notable fact: this trend would be even more marked for young girls than for their male counterparts.

“These results suggest that there is long-term improvements in mental well-being for each year of delay in obtaining a smartphone during childhoodSapien Labs founder Dr. Tara Thiagarajan commented in a statement (Source 1). “It is important that we continue to study this relationship and developing effective policies and interventions that can support healthy mental development in the digital age to reverse the downward trends we have been following”, she continued.

A better “social self”, and less dark thoughts

In the study, the percentage of young men with mental health issues was so 42% for those who had obtained their first smartphone at 6 years old, against 36% for those who received it when they turned 18. For young women, this percentage was 74% with a first smartphone at age 6, compared to 46% at age 18. The study also indicates that when children get smartphones at a later age, their “me social”, measurement of various psychological elements such as self-confidence and the ability to build positive relationships with others, improved compared to those who had a younger smartphone. In addition, mental health issues such as suicidal thoughtsfeelings of aggression towards others, feelings of being detached from reality, and hallucinations decreased significantly if children got their first smartphone later, compared to others.

For the authors of the study, parents, education professionals and politicians must be aware of these data when considering putting a smartphone or tablet in the hands of young children.

#age #smartphone #impact #mental #health

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