A pair of Grade 10 students stow their phones in a custom-made holder before class begins. Schools are experimenting with various cellphone policies and a new University of Victoria study is looking into the effects of cellphone use on young peoples’ overall well-being. Black Press files

UVic launches school cellphone study in Greater Victoria

Parents, students encouraged to fill out online questionnaire as part of research project

A unique study by University of Victoria researchers is looking at the impact of smartphones on children’s lives.

Education faculty member Sam Liu and Social Sciences faculty member Ulrich Mueller teamed up to examine the use of smartphones by middle and high school students, who routinely use mobile apps for such social vehicles as Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and others.

The researchers recognized the place those platforms have in youths’ lives, but wanted to paint a clearer picture of the overall impact on their well-being. In other words, what’s the impact on their attention span, school grades, friendships and leisure activities?

“We want to know how cell phone use impacts children’s sleep patterns, friendships, exercise and emotional well-being,” said Mueller in a release. “There is some research suggesting that up to two hours of smart phone use daily is actually good for children and it’s only prolonged periods of time that are detrimental. However, there is really not enough data to draw firm conclusions.”

Mueller is researching the effects of outdoor play on social and mental child development.

Liu, who jointly created a questionnaire for parents and students to join the study, pointed out that schools are working with various cellphone policies – from complete bans to embracing it in classroom learning – to attempt to have a positive effect on students’ habits.

“The questionnaire we developed will help us inform best practices for cellphone use in schools,” Lie said.

To complete the questionnaire, parents and students can go to schoolcellphonestudy.weebly.com or to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cellphones

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read