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SDSU Professor On How Smartphones Have Changed Teens

San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge in an undated pho...

Credit: Courtesy Photo

Above: San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge in an undated photo next to an image of her book, "iGen."

SDSU Professor On How Smartphones Have Changed Teens


Jean Twenge, professor of psychology, San Diego State University


Generations often have a defining moment, like Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy or 9/11. But according to a new book about the latest generation to come of age, the defining moment is not an event but a thing: the smartphone.

Members of the “iGen” generation are the first to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone.

“iGen” is what San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge calls those born after 1995. In her latest book, she explores the post-millennial generation and the effects of technology on their lives and their mental well-being.

“I’ve been looking at generational differences for 25 years. And I keep an eye on big national surveys that are done of teens every year. Around 2012, I started to see some changes in these samples of mostly high school students. I started to see they were spending less time with friends in person, that they were more likely to say they felt depressed and hopeless. And those trends kept going and have built over time,” Twenge said.

Twenge said those changes may be largely due to the ubiquity of the smartphone, too much screen time and the rise of social media.

RELATED: Let’s Talk About Sex: San Diego Study Shows Shifting Attitudes On Premarital Sex

Twenge discusses her book, “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood - And What That Means for the Rest of Us,” Tuesday on Midday Edition.

Book Signing

When: Wednesday 7:30 p.m.

Where: Warwick's Bookstore La Jolla

Open to the public

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