Nov 29, 2019

Study: Smartphone use spikes anxiety, depression in 25% of youth

Illustration: Axios Visuals/Sarah Grillo

Roughly 25% of youths experience depression, anxiety, poor sleep and high stress due to "problematic smartphone use," according to new research published Friday in BMC Psychiatry.

Why it matters: The report says that how young people use smartphones — in ways that mimic behavioral addiction — could be more harmful for mental health than the phones themselves.

What they found: 17 to 19 year olds are the most frequent sufferers of problematic smartphone use, as found by over a dozen studies cited in the report, and those users said that social networking was the most important part of using a smartphone.

  • Loneliness and low self-esteem were also found to be associated with addictive or problematic smartphone use.
  • Both risk-taking and risk avoidant characteristics were associated with poor smartphone use — like low self-control, emotional instability, impulsivity, and perfectionism.

Methodology: The final report used 41 studies out of the 924 it analyzed, which included over 40,000 children and young people — an age range of those with a mean population of no greater than 25. Researchers used studies from 2011 to 2017 and no language restrictions were applied.

Go deeper: The growing war on tech addiction

Go deeper

Deaths without consequences

Community organizations and activists demand police accountability at a rally in Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Mike Brown's death by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Seven years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail.

The big picture: The Minneapolis police officer who was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — which is already a step beyond the consequences other police officers have faced. But it's no guarantee that he will face jail time.

Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.