The Screenagers Podcast

Jonathan Haidt Explains the Youth Mental Health Crisis

Are social media, smartphones, and the sheer amount of time that young people are on screens really the main reason for the rise in mental health problems of today’s youth? On today’s episode, we delve into this pressing issue with Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, and author of the current New York Times bestselling book, "The Anxious Generation". His insights provide a clear and compelling explanation of why this indeed is likely the case. Beyond just correlational studies, what do actual experiments show us about the link between teen mental health and screen time? Why is the time of puberty particularly concerning when it comes to handing over smartphones and social media? Why does social media seem to impact girls more negatively than boys? These are just some of the questions that today’s episode addresses. In addition, Haidt offers two solutions for improving teen mental health. This episode is not just for adults but also for teens who are directly affected by these issues. Of note, suicidal ideation is mentioned briefly in the episode.

episode notes

Featured Expert

Jonathan Haidt, PhD

Research References

Links to research discussed in the episode

Additional Links

The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt

Time Code

00:00 Introduction to The Screenagers Podcast

00:23 Meet Jonathan Haidt, Author and Social Psychologist

01:29 The Anxious Generation: Key Insights

02:06 Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

03:52 Gender Differences in Mental Health Trends

05:57 Correlational and Experimental Studies on Screen Time

09:04 The Natural Experiment of Facebook's Rollout

12:31 The Hidden Dangers of Social Media

16:59 Aggression and Social Cruelty Online

19:25 Proposed Solutions and Parental Involvement

21:21 Conclusion and Resources

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