Let’s Talk Technology with Boys
Conference: BERA Researching Education and Mental Health: Where are we now?
Dates: 12 July 2019Abstract:
Adolescents today have ubiquitous access to modern technology and have become one of the largest groups of users of videogames and social media. This has attracted much recent research (Chassiakos et al., 2016) but while many studies investigate the links between technology use and negative effects such as lowered self-esteem (Andreassen, Pallesen & Griffiths, 2017), addiction and depression (Sanders, Field, Diego & Kaplan, 2000), the majority of these are based on correlational designs. There are few studies which have explored adolescents’ views on the impacts of technology on their behaviour and emotions. Our survey aimed to investigate adolescents’ perceptions regarding their use of technology (time spent, time of day or night used, types of games or social media used and location of technology) with various behaviours (sleep, emotions and behaviour). Also, we collected adolescents’ perceptions about their parent’s worries, parental controls and knowledge of technology. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from 155 male students in one year group from a boys school in the south west of England. The study found differences between those who had games consoles in their bedrooms, compared with those who did not, in terms of them being more likely to go to bed later than their parents and to play throughout the night. When asked if they felt hooked by various technologies, more students indicated videogames than social media and this was higher for those with games consoles in their bedrooms. The majority of the sample felt that they became aggressive during gameplay, but that these emotions disappeared afterwards. Implications of the current study and future directions for research will be discussed.