Who Paid for This Research? –
July 7, 2019 – According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost 50 million adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. These illnesses include many different conditions, such as depression and anxiety, which vary from mild to severe. Many people experience emotional turmoil during these life stages, and this, rather than technology use specifically, could influence research findings. “Taking a snapshot of the anxiety felt by young people today and concluding that a whole generation is at risk because of social media ignores more noteworthy social changes, such as the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the rise in single-child families, older and more protective parents, more kids going to college, and rising student debt,” says Prof. Hampton.
The survey asked participants how often they used communication technologies, and they responded using a five-point scale, selecting either “every day,” “a few times a week,” “once a week,” “less than once a week,” or “never.” The participants also responded to questions about their mental health, including their experience of symptoms of psychological distress. Again, they responded using a five-item scale that ranged from “all of the time” to “none of the time.” The results showed that certain groups of adults were more likely to experience higher levels of psychological distress. These people included women, black or African American people, and Hispanic people. Having less education, family income, or residential stability also increased people’s risk, as did being unmarried.