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Extracurricular activities help with adolescent mental health, but screening time does not help: research




A new study by researchers at the University of Toronto-British Columbia examined how recreational screening time and participation in extracurricular activities affect the mental health and well-being of adolescents.

Studies show that adolescents who spend less than two hours a day screening for recreation experienced higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism. Shorter screening times were also associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression symptoms, especially among girls.

data from The survey was drawn from the survey More than 28,000 7th grade students from 365 BC schools participate in recreational screen-time activities such as playing video games, watching TV, browsing the internet, and extracurricular activities such as sports and arts programs. I investigated about.We then compared those findings with positive and negative mental health indicators.

“We conducted this survey before the COVID-19 pandemic, but if COVID restricts access to extracurricular activities such as sports and arts programs, teens will have free time in front of the screen. The findings are particularly relevant if you are likely to spend more time. -19 ” Eva Oberle, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, said in a statement.

“Our findings emphasize extracurricular activities as an asset for the mental health of teens, as children and teens continue to participate in these activities during the current time period. Finding a safe way to do it may be a way to reduce screen time and promote mental health and well-being. “

Regarding gender differences in the effects of adolescent boys and girls on mental health, researchers have pointed out different ways students can engage in screen-based activities.

“Boys tend to spend a lot of time playing video games, and girls tend to spend a lot of time on social media,” Oberle said in a statement to CTV “Social media is particularly associated with the negative effects of mental health.”

According to Oberle, boys generally have a high level of screen time because they spend time playing video games. But if a girl has a high screen time, she says, other factors that shape her mental health, such as having few friends and being socially unacceptable, need to be considered.

“We know that some form of screen time can be beneficial, such as staying connected online if you can’t meet friends and family in person, but it can be very harmful. There are other types of screen times that have sex, “she said. “There are many nuances that are not yet well understood and are important to explore.”


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