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Teen Smartphone Use Positively Tied to Mood

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Positive association also seen with the length of phone use sessions

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 30, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Adolescent smartphone use is positively associated with mood, according to a study published online May 29 in PLOS ONE.

Matt Minich, Ph.D., and Megan Moreno, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, explored the relationship between adolescent smartphone use and mood longitudinally. The analysis included 253 participants (12 to 17 years old).

The researchers found that adolescent moods were positively associated with smartphone use (β = 0.261), and mood was positively associated with the length of phone use sessions (β = 0.100). During phone use, participants also reported significant changes in mood, such that moods before phone use were significantly lower than moods during phone use. There was a positive association seen between change in mood and length of smartphone use sessions (β = 0.097), such that participants who had a larger change in mood were more likely to report a longer length of smartphone use.

“Using real-time, in-situ measures of adolescent smartphone use and mood, this study found that adolescents report better moods when using their phones and report mood improvements during phone use,” the authors write. “This finding may suggest that adolescents use smartphones for mood modification, which aligns with an understanding of smartphone use as potentially addictive behavior.”

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