Researchers surveyed over 5,000 adolescents, mostly those ages 12 and 13, and found that recreational screen time among teens rose twofold to almost eight hours per day during pandemic lockdowns, compared with before the pandemic. The findings in JAMA Pediatrics also showed that Hispanic and Black teens and teens from lower-income families had more screen time use. Recreational screen time among U.S. teens doubled from before the pandemic to nearly eight hours per day during the pandemic, according to the report. And this estimate doesn't include time spent on screens for remote learning or schoolwork, so the total was likely much higher. "More screen time was linked to poorer mental health and greater stress among teens," said lead researcher Dr. Jason Nagata. "Although social media and video chat can be used to foster social connection, we found that teens reporting higher screen use felt less social support during the pandemic."
Nagata, J., Pietra, P., & Wartella, E. (2021, Nov. 1). Screen Time Use Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Pediatrics. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4334
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