Technology supports me: Perceptions of the benefits of digital technology in adolescents

Laura Bitto Urbanova*, Andrea Madarasova Geckova, Zuzana Dankulincova Veselska, Silvia Capikova, Jana Holubcikova, Jitse P. van Dijk, Sijmen A. Reijneveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Technology plays a significant role in the lives of adolescents. Our knowledge is predominantly based on research exploring the risks associated with it, but adolescents also feel that technology supports their lives. This has received less consideration. Therefore, we aim to examine how adolescents perceive the benefits of digital technology. Methods: We used qualitative data collected as part of the international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study. We conducted online, semi-structured interviews with 15 Slovak adolescents who came from three different types of secondary schools based on their graduation systems (mean age: 15.33; 20% boys). The data were analyzed using consensual qualitative research and thematic analysis. Results: We identified five main themes based on the comments of adolescents: 1. I know (source of information, formal and non-formal education); 2. I can (smart device, helpful tool); 3. I am connected/included (social interactions); 4. I have my comfortable place (leisure time, creating my alternative world); and 5. I work on my future (self-development). Conclusion: Adolescents perceived digital technology as mostly supportive and a helpful tool in their lives. The potential benefits of digital technology should be better reflected in public perception and policy, as the societal debate is mostly dominated by perceived disadvantages and risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number970395
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30-Jan-2023

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • benefits
  • digital technology
  • qualitative study
  • subjective perceptions

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