Spend time online, play or watch TV, particularly before bedtime, may not damage the mental health of young people, finds new research that challenges earlier ideas on screen time.

The study, published in the Journal of Psychological Science, casts doubts about the widely accepted relationship between screen time and wellness in young people.

More than 17,000 adolescents were studied, and the total screen time of teenagers per day, on weekends and on weekdays as well, had little impact on their mental health.

It also found that digital screens were not obviously related to a decrease in the well being of young adults two hours, one hour or 30 minutes before bedtime, even when media reports and public debate often take this as a fact.

“There has been little clear proof, even if the use of digital technology takes place directly before bedtime, of the decrease of adolescent health,” Professor Andrew Przybylski, of Oxford University, added.

The team analyzed data from Ireland, the United States, and the United Kingdom in order to obtain the time spent on the screens each day, including both self – reported measurements and time – use diaries, using a rigorous methodology.

“We have found little evidence of substantial negative linkages between digital screen involvement and youth well – being by implementing good practices in statistical and methodological techniques,” Amy Orben, Varsity Researcher, said.