B4569 - The changing digital world and its impact on youth emotional problems - 29/03/2024

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Jessica Armitage | Cardiff University
Title of project: 
The changing digital world and its impact on youth emotional problems
Proposal summary: 

Over the past three decades, adolescent emotional problems have risen at an alarmingly rate. One of the biggest changes in young people’s lives over the last few decades has been the parallel rise in digital media use, however, implications for trends in youth mental health remain unclear. Efforts to understand the role of digital media in relation to youth mental health have so far been limited by retrospective self-reports. One way to advance our understanding of digital media is to use ecological momentary assessments (EMA). EMA is a research method that involves real time reports in a real world setting. As such, it provides more objective and fine-grained data about both time and type of digital media use. The current project will test whether built-in features of a smartphone, as well as EMA, can be used to complement our understanding of digital media use among children and adolescents, and the possible impact this may be having on their emotional problems.

Impact of research: 
This work will significantly advance our understanding of how young people are engaging with digital media through their smartphone devices. Such knowledge is important for determining both the positive and negative aspects of digital media, and could be used to inform guidance for policymakers aimed at reducing the potential for harm through digital media. The research will also provide an account of the feasibility of using built-in features of a smartphone alongside ecological momentary assessments among children and adolescents. We plan to publish guidelines and reports to support future research using these methods.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 13 March, 2024
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 18 March, 2024
Epidemiology, Mental health, Statistical methods, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc.