For many parents, it’s a constant struggle to get teenagers off their phones.
But research suggests their smartphone addictions may not be as harmful as previously thought.
Scientists believe texting could actually be good for children’s mental health.
Youngsters cope better with ups and downs if they can express their feelings to friends via messaging services such as WhatsApp, the study found.
Sharing emotions over text after a demanding event boosted teenagers’ mood, lowered their stress levels and slowed their heart rate.
University of California research suggests texting could actually be good for children’s mental health (stock photo)
Researchers said texting friends following exams or break-ups may be just what adolescents need to get them through it.
An estimated 99 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK now possess a smartphone – up from 66 per cent in 2012.
The latest findings, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, contradict a 2019 study by King’s College London which found one in four children in the UK have ‘problematic’ levels of smartphone use.
Instead the researchers from University of California, Irvine, said: ‘Much of the current debate has focused on the amount of time youth use smartphones.
‘But our results suggest it should instead focus on the ways in which they are being used.’