Smartphones, thus influencing the mental health of minors

There are many brands, colors and sizes. The smartphones they have become a very common tool nowadays, both for the search of information and for connecting distant people. However, these devices are so recent that they still do not know all their consequences in young people, who use these more.

To go deeper into how they affect smartphones to the new generations, the University of Duke in Durham, in Carolina of the North, raised a new study in which it wanted to find out if there existed some way by which these technologies influenced in the mental health of smallest.

Time and background

Specifically, the researchers wanted to focus on those cases where the risk of having mental problems is greater. That is, those children who have a family history in this regard. Those responsible for this work wanted to analyze if the time these young people spent influenced in some way the chances of developing them in the future.


For they gathered 151 children from 11 to 15 years old. All of them were granted a smartphone to check if the time they used had any influence on the development of psychological problems. The children had to answer different questionnaires in which they talked about their mood and other issues that could give clues about the development of these mental disorders.

"By following the children over a period thanks to smartphones, we were able to see how the symptom of these cases changed in those days that used digital technologies to a greater extent than when they used them to a lesser extent, "explains Candice Odgers, co-author of this study, who also adds that both pre-adolescence and adolescence are periods" important both for the development of mental health problems and for the increase in the use of digital technology.


The researchers found that the children were passing around 2-3 hours a day with their smartphones or other devices. Children showed more symptoms of attention deficit disorder as behavioral hyperactivity in those days when they used these technologies the most.

"To improve adolescent mental health, we must also understand how they use these devices to get social support and connect with members of their social networks in both positive and negative ways," explains Odgers, who points out that in the treatment of these disorders also factors such as the use of smartphones and other devices should be taken into account.

Limit its use

You can not restrict the access of new generations to new technologies. Young people will contact at some point with devices such as smartphones. But if limits should be placed on this use, here are some tips to get it:


Dad sends. The smartphone is delivered to the child under certain conditions, the first is that the parents send over it and at the time they say, their use is over. If this rule is not accepted, the mobile is not granted.

Lead by example. If the child is told to leave his smartphone while the parents are using it constantly, the example given is not the best one. Adults should be an image in which the little ones are reflected.

Encourage other activities. There is no better way to forget the smartphone than to occupy the mind in other matters: a walk, an afternoon at the cinema, a board game. All these activities are great alternatives to constantly looking at a screen.

First the obligation. The son wants to use his smartphone, but has he finished all his tasks? Until it ends its obligations, there is no room for these matters.

Parental control. There are applications that allow parents to know how their children are using their smartphones. It is advisable to install them to know what use they are making of these technologies.

Damián Montero

Video: How Your Smartphone Affects Your Brain And Body


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