Research priorities on screen use and adolescent mental health

To develop meaningful evidence-based policy guidelines, a crucial first step is to ensure the right research questions are being asked. This project aims to identify the most important and unanswered research questions about screen use and adolescent mental health from the perspective of young people, their parents and educators.  

We completed a priority-setting process consisting of three steps: 

  1. A consultation survey and interviews with experts in the field of screen use and adolescent mental health.
  2. Participatory discussion groups with young people (11-25 years old), parents and teachers.
  3. A list of 25 research questions will be developed based on the latter two inquiries. As a final step, this list will be circulated in a public consultation survey for young people, parents and teachers to identify their top 10 research priorities on screen use and adolescent mental health.

This process was guided by a Steering Group formed by researchers, clinicians and parents and young people representatives. Young people were part of the Young People’s Network coordinated by McPin Foundation. Young people with and without lived experience of mental health problems actively contributed to recruitment strategy design; development of data collection instruments; co-facilitating group discussions; and interpretating findings.   

Findings from this research will help shape future research and inform funding allocation decisions and policy guidelines developed by the Department of Health and Social Care.