Mental health

No, the internet is not actually stealing kids’ innocence

Is media use harmful to kids?  Sonia Livingstone reflects on ‘media panic’ that attributes issues such sexual assault to children using the internet, outlining problems with existing evidence and suggestions for future approaches. Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department of Media and Communications and has more than 25 years of experience in media research with a particular focus on children and […]

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    Some thoughts on the Atlantic’s ‘Have smartphones destroyed a generation?’

Some thoughts on the Atlantic’s ‘Have smartphones destroyed a generation?’

In this post, Vicky Rideout responds to the latest issue of The Atlantic which features an article linking teenage suicide to smartphone use. Vicky argues that to interpret the relationship between those two trends as causal is to misuse existing data. Presenting data that she gathered in a Common Sense Media nationally-representative survey, Vicky shows the nuance and complexity of the […]

The trouble with ‘screen time rules’

How much is too much when it comes to ‘screen time’? Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross round-up the advice that is being given to parents about screen time rules, where reports represent advice on a scale from fear to hype. Rather than measuring screentime purely by the clock, Alicia and Sonia suggest a set of lifestyle-based questions that can help […]

The Blue Whale game paradox, digital literacy and fake news

Last week there were a number of news reports about the harmful effects of social media on the mental health of teens and young people. Responding to this, we are publishing two posts this week that address the topic. The first post was about young people encountering inappropriate content online. This second post by Gianfranco Polizzi looks at the Blue […]

Young people online: Encounters with inappropriate content

Last week there were a number of news reports about the harmful effects of social media on the mental health of teens and young people. Responding to this, we are publishing two posts this week that address the topic. First, this post by Rose Bray details the findings of the NSPCC and O2’s Net Aware research.

Investigating the nature of, […]

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    Parenting a moving target: Understanding how young people’s lives are changing

Parenting a moving target: Understanding how young people’s lives are changing

How are young people’s lives changing, particularly in the digital age? Ann Hagell and John Coleman share insights from the Key Data on Adolescence report and look at changes currently impacting young people. Every two years, the Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH) publishes a compendium of publically available statistics about young people’s health, which provides a unique picture of their lives in […]

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    The content and context of screen use is more important that the amount of screen time

The content and context of screen use is more important that the amount of screen time

Mark Griffiths reflects on the realities, implications and consequences of “screen time” in the context of gaming. He argues that it is not about the amount of screen use, but rather about its content and context. His piece follows a special workshop¹ convened by the Media Policy Project and Parenting for a Digital Future on ‘Families and “screen-time”: challenges of media self-regulation’ and the publication of a […]

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    What and how should parents be advised about ‘screen time’?

What and how should parents be advised about ‘screen time’?

Alicia Blum-Ross and Sonia Livingstone explore current attitudes and advice to parents in relation to children and ‘screen time’ and asks whether it is still fit for purpose in today’s world. This blog coincides with a new Media Policy Project policy brief on the subject, authored by Alicia Blum-Ross and Sonia Livingstone. Alicia is a researcher and Sonia is a Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department […]

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    If we can’t prove the internet makes children unhappy, we shouldn’t lay the blame at its door

If we can’t prove the internet makes children unhappy, we shouldn’t lay the blame at its door

Sonia Livingstone takes a closer look at increasing concerns around young people’s mental health and the implication that the internet is at fault. She argues that there is not enough research evidence to support this and many other causes for children’s problems are being ignored. Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department of Media and Communications and has more than 25 years of […]

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    What are pre-schoolers doing with tablets and is it good for them?

What are pre-schoolers doing with tablets and is it good for them?

The undeniable reality is that ever younger children are gaining access to tablets, becoming proficient tablet users, but is this really in their best interests, developmentally? Sonia Livingstone highlights the findings of a recent report looking into young children’s digital play and opportunities. Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department of Media and Communications and has more […]