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Innocenti experts produce high quality research that is frequently published in international peer reviewed journals. The themes of publications featured here reflect the entire spectrum of issues shaping global policies and outcomes for children.

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Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction

ABSTRACT

Evidence on whether the amount of time children spend online affects their mental health is mixed. There may be both benefits and risks. Yet, almost all published research on this topic is from high‐income countries. This paper presents new findings across four countries of varying wealth.

We analyse data gathered through the Global Kids Online project from nationally representative samples of Internet‐using children aged 9 to 17 years in Bulgaria (n  = 1,000), Chile (n  = 1,000), Ghana (n  = 2,060) and the Philippines (n  = 1,873). Data was gathered on Internet usage on week and weekend days. Measures of absolute (comparable across countries) and relative (compared to other children within countries) time use were constructed. Mental health was measured by Cantril’s ladder (life satisfaction). The analysis also considers the relative explanatory power on variations in mental health of children’s relationships with family and friends. Analysis controlled for age, gender and family socioeconomic status.

In Bulgaria and Chile, higher‐frequency Internet use is weakly associated with lower life satisfaction. In Ghana and the Philippines, no such pattern was observed. There was no evidence that the relationship between frequency of Internet use and life satisfaction differed by gender. In all four countries, the quality of children’s close relationships showed a much stronger relationship with their life satisfaction than did time spent on the Internet.

Time spent on the Internet does not appear to be strongly linked to children’s life satisfaction, and results from one country should not be assumed to transfer to another. Improving the quality of children’s close relationships offers a more fruitful area for intervention than restricting their time online. Future research could consider a wider range of countries and links between the nature, rather than quantity, of Internet usage and mental health.

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JOURNAL ARTICLES BY DATE

91 items found

Disclosure, reporting and help seeking among child survivors of violence: a cross-country analysis

Audrey Pereira, Amber Peterman, Anastasia Naomi Neijhoft, Alina Potts, Mary Catherine Maternowska
BMC Public Health, July 2020 (20, Article number: 1051 (2020) )

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Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children

Amber Peterman, Alina Potts, Megan O'Donnell, Kelly Thompson, Niyati Shah, Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Nicole van Geltert
CGD Working Paper, April 2020 (528)

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COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence

N. van Gelder, Amber Peterman, Alina Potts
The Lancet E Clinical Medicine, April 2020, vol. 21 (100348), pp. 2.

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More evidence on the relationship between cash transfers and child height

Averi Chakrabarti, Sudhanshu Handa, Luisa Natali, David Seidenfeld, Gelson Tembo
Journal of Development Effectiveness, March 2020

Addressing violence against children online and offline

Daniel Kardefelt Winther, Mary Catherine Maternowska
Nature Human Behaviour , December 2019, pp. 4.

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Assets for Alimentation? The Nutritional Impact of Assets-based Programming in Niger

Tilman Brück, Oscar Mauricio Diaz Botìa, Neil T. N. Ferguson
Journal of Development Studies, Supplement 1, December 2019, vol. 55, pp. 55-74.

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Comparing the Productive Effects of Cash and Food Transfers in a Crisis Setting: Evidence from a Randomised Experiment in Yemen

Benjamin Schwab
Journal of Development Studies, Supplement 1, December 2019, vol. 55, pp. 29-54.

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91 items found