young people addicted to using their smartphones are more likely to suffer depression and loneliness in the future, according to a study released by the University of Arizona (united States).
the authors of The study urge to put limits on the use of these devices if necessary. "The main conclusion is that the dependence of the smart phone predicts the development of depressive symptoms later," said Matthew Lapierre, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences in a press release.
The study, entitled "longitudinal Relationships in the short term between the use/reliance of smart phones and the psychological well-being among adolescents late", was based on a survey conducted earlier this year.
it was attended by 346 students between the ages of 18 and 20 years of age , who were asked to use a four-point scale to rank a series of issues, such as "I feel panic when I can't use my smart phone".
The respondents also answered questions designed to measure loneliness, depressive symptoms, and your daily use of cellular devices. They gave their answers at the beginning of the study and again after three to four months. The study focused on young mainly because this is a generation that has grown up with the use of the phone, and is in a stage of transition in life in which are most vulnerable to mental health problems.
"If the depression and loneliness lead to dependence on the smart phone we could reduce this dependency by adjusting the mental health of people ," said Pengfei Zhao, Master's student in Communications at the University of Arizona and co-author of the report, along with Lapierre and the student of phd in communication Benjamin Custer.
"But if the dependence of the smart phone to precede the depression, that is what we find in our research, we can reduce the dependence of the smart phone in order to maintain or improve mental well-being", said Zhao.
The study believes that understanding the direction of the relationship between the dependency of these devices and the bad psychological results is fundamental to knowing how best to address the problem.
previous Research has found a relationship between the excessive use of the smart phone and the depression, but it has not been determined if this dependence precedes the symptoms of the depression or if the opposite is true: if the depression leads to excessive use of smart phone.
The researchers concluded that, given the possible negative effects of this dependency, it is worth that people evaluate their relationship with the devices , and set limits if they consider it necessary.
Also suggest to look for alternatives to manage stress, as other studies have indicated that some people turn to their phones as a way to relieve it.
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