The importance of fostering mature digital technology use – protecting health, well-being and the environment
Recent research by one of our partner organisations, the lab for Applied Social Psychology and Consumer Behaviour at the University of Vienna, found interesting insights regarding adolescents’ ability for mature digital device use.
As recently presented at the European Association for Social Psychology (EASP) 2023 conference, Arnd Florack and Teresa Koch found evidence for differences in adolescents’ ability for mature digital device use. Especially adolescents from a higher socioeconomic background showed higher digital maturity, characterised as the ability to use digital devices for personal development (health and well-being), and integration in society (digital citizenship). The relationship between socioeconomic background and mature device use was partly explained by parental strategies to influence the adolescent’s digital device use. Especially parents from higher socioeconomic backgrounds provide their child with more support and guidance regarding digital device use, enabling their child to show more mature and considerate use behaviour.
These differences due to socioeconomic background and parental influence highlight the importance of providing opportunities for all adolescents to strengthen their ability to use digital devices in a positive way, benefitting their well-being and the environment. The mobile game app developed by BeWEEN will present one opportunity for adolescents to develop their abilities regarding digital device use. This provides a chance for development also for adolescents who might receive less support and guidance by other means.