The survey found that 70 percent of teenagers saw mental health as a big issue. Fewer teenagers cited bullying, drug addiction or gangs as major problems; those from low-income households were more likely to do so.
A study released in 2017 found that the number of children and adolescents admitted to children’s hospitals for thoughts of self-harm or suicide had more than doubled from 2008 to 2015, echoing trends in federal data.
Penn Resiliency Program, under the direction of Karen Reivich and Jane Gillham, of the University of Pennsylvania, for young adults and children.
A team led by the University of Michigan professor Christopher Peterson, author of the Values in Action signature strengths survey, created the test, called the Global Assessment Tool (GAT). It is a 20-minute questionnaire that focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses and is designed to measure four things: emotional, family, social, and spiritual fitness. All four have been credited with reducing depression and anxiety. According to research, they are the keys to PERMA.
Conclusions sur- rounding use have therefore been
largely negative and smartphones have repeatedly
been associated with depression (Elhai, Dvorak,
Levine, & Hall, 2017), anxiety (Richardson,
Hussain, & Griffiths, 2018), disrupted sleep
(Rosen, Carrier, Miller, Rokkum, & Ruiz, 2016),
Almond, 2015), and poor academic performance
(Lepp, Barkley, & Karpinski, 2015). This repeats a
pattern of research priorities, which previously
focused on the ne- gative impacts of many other screen-based technologies, systematically moving
from television and video games, to the internet
and social media (Rosen et al., 2014).
There is also little
evidence to support the existence of the constructs
under investigation (e.g., technology ‘addiction’),
yet many papers and scales continue to use
language associated with a specific diagnosis (see
Panova & Carbonell, 2018 for a recent review).
When it comes to understanding the impact of
technology more generally, there is an intrinsic
lack of high-quality evidence (Ellis et al., 2018a).
Revised psychometric tests may hold some value
in the future, provided they are grounded in
relevant theory and validated accordingly.
The relationship between teens, screens and mental health is complex and multidirectional
Abby’s mom has sent her articles about research linking teen depression and suicide to screen use. A 2017 article in The Atlantic magazine — “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” — drew a link between negative trends in teens’ mental health and the rise of smartphones and social media.
The negative relationship between teens’ mental health and technology use is real — but tiny, the researchers found. “A teenager’s technology use can only predict less than 1% of variation in well-being. It’s so small that it’s surpassed by whether a teenager wears glasses to school.”
How to strike a balance? To start, try mentoring, not monitoring
Heitner’s work emphasizes a concept that’s also put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics in its guidelines for parents: media mentoring.
Look for the good in your kids’ media interests
For Benji, Minecraft is a social space where he plays with other kids and pulls pranks. He says he wishes his parents understood more about his screen use — “why it’s entertaining and why we want to do it. And also, for YouTube, why I watch other people playing games. When you watch sports, you’re watching another person playing a game! Why is it so different when you’re watching a person play a video game?”
The National Education Policy Center releases annual reports on commercialization and marketing in public schools. In its most recent report in May, researchers there raised concerns about targeted marketing to students using computers for schoolwork and homework.
In the past few years several states have passed laws banning employers from looking at the credit reports of job applicants.
Similarly, for young people who get in trouble with the law, there is a procedure for sealing juvenile records
Educational transcripts, unlike credit reports or juvenile court records, are currently considered fair game for gatekeepers like colleges and employers. These records, though, are getting much more detailed.
Because of technological advances and the sheer amount of data now available about billions of other people, discretion no longer suffices to protect your privacy. Computer algorithms and network analyses can now infer, with a sufficiently high degree of accuracy, a wide range of things about you that you may have never disclosed, including your moods, your political beliefs, your sexual orientation and your health.
There is no longer such a thing as individually “opting out” of our privacy-compromised world.
In 2017, the newspaper The Australian published an article, based on a leaked document from Facebook, revealing that the company had told advertisers that it could predict when younger users, including teenagers, were feeling “insecure,” “worthless” or otherwise in need of a “confidence boost.” Facebook was apparently able to draw these inferences by monitoring photos, posts and other social media data.
In 2017, academic researchers, armed with data from more than 40,000 Instagram photos, used machine-learning tools to accurately identify signs of depression in a group of 166 Instagram users. Their computer models turned out to be better predictors of depression than humans who were asked to rate whether photos were happy or sad and so forth.
Computational inference can also be a tool of social control. The Chinese government, having gathered biometric data on its citizens, is trying to use big data and artificial intelligence to single out “threats” to Communist rule, including the country’s Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic group.
Zeynep Tufekci and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: Privacy is over
Yoga therapy is now recognized as a clinically viable treatment, with established programs at major health care centers, such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, and many others. In 2003, there were just five yoga-therapy training programs in the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) database. Today, there are more than 130 worldwide, including 24 rigorous multi-year programs newly accredited by IAYT, with 20 more under review. According to a 2015 survey, most IAYT members work in hospital settings, while others work in outpatient clinics or physical therapy, oncology, or rehabilitation departments (and in private practice).
The health care world’s increased acceptance of yoga therapy is partly due to a significant body of clinical research that now documents yoga’s proven benefits for a range of health conditions, including back pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, as well as its ability to help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Yoga has even been documented as a way to alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment.
TWO YEARS AGO, Alison Darcy built a robot to help out the depressed. As a clinical research psychologist at Stanford University, she knew that one powerful way to help people suffering from depression or anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy, or C.B.T. It’s a form of treatment in which a therapist teaches patients simple techniques that help them break negative patterns of thinking.
In a study with 70 young adults, Darcy found that after two weeks of interacting with the bot, the test subjects had lower incidences of depression and anxiety. They were impressed, and even touched, by the software’s attentiveness.
Many tell Darcy that it’s easier to talk to a bot than a human; they don’t feel judged.
Darcy argues this is a glimpse of our rapidly arriving future, where talking software is increasingly able to help us manage our emotions. There will be A.I.s that detect our feelings, possibly better than we can. “I think you’ll see robots for weight loss, and robots for being more effective communicators,” she says. It may feel odd at first
RECENT HISTORY HAS seen a rapid change in at least one human attitude toward machines: We’ve grown accustomed to talking to them. Millions now tell Alexa or Siri or Google Assistant to play music, take memos, put something on their calendar or tell a terrible joke.
One reason botmakers are embracing artificiality is that the Turing Test turns out to be incredibly difficult to pass. Human conversation is full of idioms, metaphors and implied knowledge: Recognizing that the expression “It’s raining cats and dogs” isn’t actually about cats and dogs, for example, surpasses the reach of chatbots.
Conversational bots thus could bring on a new wave of unemployment — or “readjustment,” to use the bloodless term of economics. Service workers, sales agents, telemarketers — it’s not hard to imagine how millions of jobs that require social interaction, whether on the phone or online, could eventually be eliminated by code.
One person who bought a Jibo was Erin Partridge, an art therapist in Alameda, Calif., who works with the elderly. When she took Jibo on visits, her patients loved it.
For some technology critics, including Sherry Turkle, who does research on the psychology of tech at M.I.T., this raises ethical concerns. “People are hard-wired with sort of Darwinian vulnerabilities, Darwinian buttons,” she told me. “And these Darwinian buttons are pushed by this technology.” That is, programmers are manipulating our emotions when they create objects that inquire after our needs.
The precursor to today’s bots, Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA, was created at M.I.T. in 1966. ELIZA was a pretty crude set of prompts, but by simply asking people about their feelings, it drew them into deep conversations.
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