Teenagers who use the Internet excessively are ‘more likely to miss school’ | School attendance and absence

Young people who spend too much time online are more likely to miss school due to illness or truancy, a study suggests.

Adolescent girls appear to be more likely than teenage boys to score well on excessive Internet use, the findings show. But a good amount of sleep and exercise as well as a trusting relationship with their parents seem to go some way to reducing the effects of extreme web use on class absences.

The results of the research, carried out by a Finnish team, were published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

To try to assess the impact of excessive Internet use on school attendance and possible mitigating factors, the team used data from the School Health Promotion study, a survey conducted in Finland and managed by the National Health Institute. and well-being.

They focused on 86,270 8th and 9th grade students aged 14 to 16. The adolescents were specifically asked about their relationship with their parents in terms of how often they shared their concerns with them, as well as how much sleep they got each night and how long they slept each night. some days of the week, they had been on the move for at least an hour.

Excessive Internet use was assessed by measuring five lifestyle factors that indicate strain: neglect of family, friends, and studies; anxiety if you are not online; and the inability to eat or sleep because she is online.

Respondents were asked to estimate how often they encountered each of these problems, rating them from one (never) to four (very often) to obtain an overall average. They also provided information on the number of times during the most recent school year that they were truant or absent due to illness.

The digital divide: could you live without the Internet?

The average scale score was just under two, and just over 2% (1,881) of participants scored the maximum of four. Girls were more likely to use the Internet excessively than boys, the researchers found.

Spending too much time online was associated with an increased risk of absenteeism (38% increased risk) and medically explained school absences (24% increased risk).

But good parental relationships, longer weekday nighttime sleep, and physical activity all emerged as significantly protective, with greater amounts of each factor associated with consistently lower risk of truancy and truancy for cause of illness.

Being able to discuss concerns with parents was most strongly associated with the lowest risk of either type of school absence. Teens who often felt able to share troubling issues with their parents were 59% less likely to play truant and 39% less likely to miss school due to illness.

This is an observational study and no definitive conclusions could be drawn about causal factors. The researchers acknowledged that the School Health Promotion data did not include information on the type of Internet use by adolescents.

“Despite their limitations, our results have important implications for promoting health and educational attainment,” the researchers said. “Our findings are relevant to professionals who organize and work in school health and wellness services, particularly when professionals encounter students whose school absences cause concern.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *