Saul Rosenthal, PhD

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST


A recent article published in the academic journal Psychological Science questions the generally held belief that lots of screen time, especially around bedtime, is bad for adolescents. The article, “Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies” followed over 17,000 teens in three countries.

This is an important study for a number of reasons. First, it includes a very large number of participants. Second, rather than relying on retrospective measures of technology use, the study uses a technique in which adolescents’ use is recorded throughout the day. Third, well-being is measured by caregivers as well as the adolescents. Finally, statistical analysis was designed before data collection. In other words, it’s not a fishing expedition. This is a really nicely designed study, strengthening confidence in its conclusions.

(more…)

June 2nd, 2019

Posted In: Digital Citizenship, Internet Addiction, Psychology of Technology

Tags:

Leave a Comment

I was lucky enough to attend an early viewing of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. I watched with a real mixture of responses; sad that it is the last movie in the trilogy, excited to see how the filmmakers deal with some of my favorite characters, blown away by the amazing look of the film. I left the movie with the urge to write about it. Not a review, which would be two words: SEE IT! Rather, I found myself mulling over the parallels between Hiccup’s and Toothless’s journey and our own development from childhood to adulthood. The curse of my decades trying to understand what makes us tick!

(more…)

February 3rd, 2019

Posted In: Development

Tags:

Leave a Comment

Last week I shared five tips about helping out when you give your child a smartphone or tablet.

But what about you? All those Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and end-of-year prices are tempting. Maybe it’s time for you to get a new device. If you’re taking the opportunity to treat yourself, why not also take the opportunity to review and strengthen your usage habits? 

(more…)

December 14th, 2018

Posted In: Digital Citizenship, Internet Addiction, Psychology of Technology

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

With the end-of-year holidays at hand, you might be thinking about gifting your child a phone or tablet. I’ve previously written about helping your child develop appropriate online skills, and now I want to share some tips about setting your child up for success with their new device.

Many parents (myself included!) feel ambivalent about giving their child a smart phone or tablet. On the one hand, it’s convenient, you can keep tabs on your child, it’s the way of the world, and, of course, “everybody else has one!.” On the other hand, devices and subscription plans are expensive, many apps are a waste of time, social media is a jungle, and, of course, “I didn’t have one when I was your age and I grew up just fine!

(more…)

December 7th, 2018

Posted In: Digital Citizenship

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment

The idea that we can help the brain reshape it’s own activity to improve our health has always appealed to me. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that encourages the brain to change itself. I particularly like neurofeedback because it allows me to integrate an evidence-based approach with a personalized approach to treatment. An individual’s own brain activity helps me determine the best neurofeedback approach to use.

(more…)

October 18th, 2018

Posted In: Treatment Thoughts

Tags:

Leave a Comment

Gaming Disorder is a new diagnosis for the upcoming 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is the diagnostic “bible” published by the World Health Organization and used by health care providers around the world. While the exact criteria do not seem available, the WHO defines Gaming Disorder as:

a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

For diagnosis, the behavior must significantly interfere with functioning and exist for at least 12 months.

(more…)

September 16th, 2018

Posted In: Internet Addiction

Tags: ,

Leave a Comment