This programme addresses the assumptions that the overall mental well-being of young people is undergoing a pronounced period of decline and that digital technologies might be driving this trend.

Overview

It is often claimed that the overall mental well-being of young people is undergoing a pronounced period of decline and some have implied that digital technologies might be driving this trend. This program of research aims to address both of these assumptions directly with empirical data drawn from more than two dozen countries over the past 30 years.

Of central interest are three research questions:

  1. Has there actually been a significant decrease in adolescent wellbeing in the last decade?
  2. Are shifts, both increases and decreases, consistent between technologically saturated and developing nations?
  3. How do these shifts in well-being (mis) align with technological events and the reduction of mental health stigma in different cultures?

To answer these questions we need to draw translate and harmonise many datasets, integrate data on technology and mental health on an annualised basis for each country, and perform both time series and structural equation modelling to test overall, comparative, and technology-related trends.

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