Digital Technologies and Mental Health Vulnerabilities in Adolescence
Join us for the launch of our new report examining the relationship between digital technologies and mental health in adolescents made vulnerable by pre-existing mental health problems.
Public and policy debates often link rising rates of adolescents’ mental health problems to increasing internet use. But these debates have not always been rigorously grounded in evidence concerning both possible benefits and harms. There is a gap in understanding between those who are experts in mental health and those with expertise in the culture, political economy and regulation of the digital environment, hence many questions remain. Can adolescents’ internet use increase the risk of poor mental health and what aspects of ‘the internet’ matter? Can digital technologies support adolescents’ mental health, whether by placing barriers on the pathway to harm or by introducing online help?
In answering these questions, we draw on a scoping review of relevant published evidence with new insights from pilot focus groups with adolescents with experiences of self-harm, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as interviews with relevant experts.