A Longitudinal Examination of the Relationship between Technology Use and Substance Use during Adolescence
Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World
ISBN: 978-1-78560-265-8, eISBN: 978-1-78560-264-1
Publication date: 24 September 2015
The primary goal of this longitudinal study was to examine whether technology use predicts substance use and/or whether substance use predicts technology use during adolescence.
The sample included 1,031 10th and 11th grade students from the Mid-Atlantic United States. The students completed surveys in school in the spring of 2007 and 2008.
Gender differences in technology use were observed with girls texting, e-mailing/instant messaging, and working on the computer more than boys, and boys playing video games more than girls. Technology use also predicted later substance use for boys and girls. Importantly, technology use was observed to have both negative and positive effects on youth. Substance use also predicted later technology use for girls.
The sample only included adolescents from the Mid-Atlantic United States. In addition, the measures were based on self-reports. Nevertheless, results from this study highlight the importance of considering both negative and positive effects of technology on adolescents. Of note, social types of technology (texting and e-mailing) predicted more substance use for both boys and girls. As such, substance use prevention programs should target these types of technology.
Findings from this study underscore the importance of examining both directions of influence between technology use and adolescent adjustment.
This research was supported by grant 5K01A015059 to Christine McCauley Ohannessian from the National Institutes of Health. The involvement of all of the students who participated in the study is greatly appreciated. Special thanks go to members of the project staff, especially Kaitlin Flannery, Magdalena Owczarska, Kelly Cheeseman, Lisa Fong, Alyson Cavanaugh, Jessica Schulz, Laura Finan, Sara Bergamo, Ashley Malooly, and Ashley Ings.
Ohannessian, C.M. (2015), "A Longitudinal Examination of the Relationship between Technology Use and Substance Use during Adolescence", Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 293-313. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1537-466120150000019010
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