Hutton, J.S., Piotrowski, J.T., Bagot, K., Blumberg, F., Canli, T., Chein, J.,...Potenza, M.


Purpose of Review: The incorporation of digital technologies and their use in youth’s everyday lives has been increasing rapidly over the past several decades with possible impacts on youth development and mental health. This narrative review aimed to consider how the use of digital technologies may be influencing brain development underlying adaptive and maladaptive screen-related behaviors.

Recent Findings: To explore and provide direction for further scientific inquiry, an international group of experts considered what is known, important gaps in knowledge, and how a research agenda might be pursued regarding relationships between screen media activity and neurodevelopment from infancy through childhood and adolescence. While an understanding of brain-behavior relationships involving screen media activity has been emerging, significant gaps exist that have important implications for the health of developing youth.

Summary: Specific considerations regarding brain-behavior relationships involving screen media activity exist for infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood; middle childhood; and adolescence. Transdiagnostic frameworks may provide a foundation for guiding future research efforts. Translating knowledge gained into better interventions and policy to promote healthy development is important in a rapidly changing digital technology environment.

This article is a result of Children and Screens’ 2020 “Digital Media and the Developing Brain” retreat, March 6-7, 2020 at Stony Brook University.

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"Digital Media and Developing Brains: Concerns and Opportunities," Current Addiction Reports