Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

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


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Your curated weekly guide to local arts and culture in San Diego, from Arts Calendar Editor Julia Dixon Evans, delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.