Stressed teens who spend modest time online tend to cope better in distress: Study

According to new research issued in the Clinical Psychological Science journal suggests that teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17, who are in low socio-economic settings, when invests a moderate period of time online after a stressful experience can cope far effectively than those who use up several hours online or completely ignore digital technology.

The main author of the research Kathryn Modecki with Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute and School of Applied Psychology, said, “Adolescents are smart, and they make use of technology to their own advantage. Because adolescents in disadvantaged settings tend to have fewer local supports, the study sought to find out whether online engagement helped reduce their stress”. 

Modecki further continued that there has been a pervasive assumption about the fact that teenagers utilising technology are bad and detrimental, but what we learned about the developing period of adolescence does not support such a generalised statement. 

More information about stressed teens coping online

To get comprehensive information on teenagers and technology studies, the researchers gave iPhones to over 200 teenagers from low-income families. The teenagers were asked to report on their technology usage, stresses, and moods, five times a day over a week by using those iPhones as their personal phones. The information was utilised to evaluate the emotional responses of teenagers who dealt with stress and pressure using technology modestly, extensively, or have not used it at all. 

As per the result of the research, the teenagers who utilised technology in moderate hours of time after a stressful scenario recovered more quickly and reported lower peaks in negative feelings like sorrow and stress when compared to those who didn’t engage themselves in technology or who used it as a coping technique on a regular basis. 

Kathryn Modecki even said, “We found a just-right ‘Goldilocks’ effect in which moderate amounts of online coping helped mitigate surges in negative emotions and dips in happiness”. Further adding he stated that when teenagers obtained emotional support in the presence of daily stresses, they showed greater short-term stress reduction.  

As per researchers, the online environment acts as a tool for teenagers to obtain knowledge and support about what is bothering them, not simply for a short-term diversion. This coping approach may be especially beneficial for teenagers in low-income situations since it levels the place for getting that knowledge and assistance. 

(Image Credit: Shuttershock)

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