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A large-scale test of the Goldilocks hypothesis

Przybylski, Andrew K. and Weinstein, Netta 2017. A large-scale test of the Goldilocks hypothesis. Psychological Science 28 (2) , pp. 204-215. 10.1177/0956797616678438

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Although the time adolescents spend with digital technologies has sparked widespread concerns that their use might be negatively associated with mental well-being, these potential deleterious influences have not been rigorously studied. Using a preregistered plan for analyzing data collected from a representative sample of English adolescents (n = 120,115), we obtained evidence that the links between digital-screen time and mental well-being are described by quadratic functions. Further, our results showed that these links vary as a function of when digital technologies are used (i.e., weekday vs. weekend), suggesting that a full understanding of the impact of these recreational activities will require examining their functionality among other daily pursuits. Overall, the evidence indicated that moderate use of digital technology is not intrinsically harmful and may be advantageous in a connected world. The findings inform recommendations for limiting adolescents’ technology use and provide a template for conducting rigorous investigations into the relations between digital technology and children’s and adolescents’ health.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: screen time, digital technology, adolescents, mental well-being, open data, open materials, preregistered
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0956-7976
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 April 2017
Date of Acceptance: 19 October 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:47

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