Problematic Media Use and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression During the Pandemic: An Investigation among Peruvian Adolescents in low- and middle-income Settings. (2021)

  • Key takeaways: 
    • Problematic media use (PMU) happens when digital media or technology is used too much and creates problems in your life.
    • In this study, we checked: 
      • The amount of PMU that adolescents experienced during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • If PMU increased during the pandemic.
      • If symptoms of anxiety and depression before the start of COVID-19 predicted an increase in PMU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • We found that:
      • 7.8% of adolescents had PMU scores that were considered “problematic.”
      • Older adolescents were more likely to have higher levels of PMU.
      • Existing symptoms of anxiety and depression could predict higher levels of PMU for adolescents.

Separable Associations Between Perceived Positive and Negative Online Experiences and Loneliness in Peruvian Adolescents During Physical Isolation in Response to COVID-19. (2021)

  • Key takeaways: 
    • COVID-19 lockdowns have made it difficult for adolescents to have in-person interactions with other people. This can make adolescents feel lonely.
    • Social media can help adolescents have social relationships that are not in person. 
    • In this study, we investigated:
      • If online experiences influence how lonely adolescents feel during the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. 
    • We found that:
      • Feelings of loneliness stayed the same between week six and week 11 of the COVID-19 lockdown.
      • Loneliness was higher for females between week 6 and 11 of lockdown.
      • Females experienced more negative online experiences than males.
      • More positive online experiences may reduce loneliness during physical isolation.

Context, development and digital media: implications for very young adolescents in LMICs. (2021)

  • Key takeaways: 
    • Early adolescence is a time of social and emotional learning. These learning experiences can help shape your identity.
    • There are big differences in accessing and using digital media in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). 
    • These differences can create bigger economic gaps and increase gender inequality during early adolescence. 
    • In this study we discuss:
      • What is currently known about the relationship between digital media and early adolescence.
      • Ideas for future research that could address the relationship between digital media and early adolescence.

Longitudinal change in adolescent depression and anxiety symptoms from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic: An international collaborative of 12 samples. (2021)

  • Key takeaways: 
    • In this study we investigated: 
      • Changes in symptoms of depression and anxiety before the COVID-19 pandemic and during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandmeic.
      • If age, race/ethnicity, disease, or strict government restrictions affected a change in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
    • We found that:
      • Depression symptoms increased  a lot and anxiety symptoms remained the same overall.
      • The most negative mental health impacts were  reported  by  multiracial  adolescents  and  those  under  ‘lockdown’  restrictions.

Digital citizenship under lockdown: promoting the healthy use of technology for adolescents growing-up in Perú during COVID-19. (2021)

  • Key takeaways: 
    • Since 2018, the Transitions project has promoted digital citizenship (the set of abilities that allow for positive online participation) among adolescents in Latin America.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic motivated us to change our project design to promote well-being during a crisis.
    • In this paper, we discuss:
      • A case study for the cultural adaptations necessary to apply digital citizenship lessons for Peruvian youth during remote instruction.

Study Protocol: Transitions, a school based intervention to promote digital citizenship in low- and middle income secondary school students in Perú. (2021)

  • Key takeaways: 
    • The Transitions project aims to:
      •  (1) Understand how children and adolescents access and use digital media in Perú.
      •  (2) Adapt a culturally and developmentally appropriate digital citizenship program.
    • We outline the Transitions project design:
      • Multiple rounds where we work with up to 24,500 children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 and 1,021 tutors in a large, low-cost school network in Perú
      • During each round, we collect surveys on digital media use, well-being, and mental health
      • Students complete a short class on digital citizenship
      • In some rounds we collect data gathered from focus groups and workshops.
    • This study will give more information on how youth in Perú access and use digital media.
    • This project will support the ongoing development of programs that can empower youth online.


Mind Games: Technology and the Developing Teenage Brain. (2020)*

*This article was also covered by the Scidestination, an outreach website by adolescents for adolescents, in this video!

  • Key takeaways: 
    • The brain has areas that react to things that are exciting or rewarding, and areas that help you plan and control your impulses.
    • As children and teens develop and their brains change, the balance between the reward areas and control areas changes.
    • These brain changes make children and teens more willing to explore, take risks, and learn from friends.
      • These brain changes can also make it hard for kids to regulate their behavior, especially when friends are around or when there is a lot of excitement.
    • Technology can increase learning by tapping into the balance between reward and control.
    • However, some technological features can also increase unhealthy social interactions or make it very hard to control impulses online.
    • In this article we: 
      • Show how the control and reward areas of your brain influence learning.
      • Discuss how understanding how your brain works can help promote positive learning and empower you to make your own decisions about how to spend time online.

Key Word Definitions

  1. Hypothesis
    • A prediction that can be tested by doing a research study.
  2. Longitudinal Study
    • A research design where you observe the same items over a period of time.
  3. Publication
    • A written paper that describes a research study in detail and gives answers to a hypothesis. Publications are reviewed by many people to ensure that what is being written is correct.
  4. Research Study
    • A study that tests hypothesis using the scientific method.
  5. Scientific Method
    • A way of testing observations and hypothesis. First, you observe a variable. Second, you come up with a question about the variable. Third, you form a hypothesis about the variable. Fourth, you create an experiment to test the hypothesis. Fifth, you analyze the data gathered from your experiment. Finally, you come up with a conclusion.
  6. Study Protocol
    • A detailed outline of a research study design.