PLUS-2 Study

Pathways Linking Use of Social Media to Teen Outcomes

What is the goal of this study?

The purpose of this research study is to learn more about how social media, sleep, and mood are related in teenagers, and whether we can use teens' smartphones and daily activity to understand these relationships. 

Where is the study taking place?

All study visits will be held online. 

If preferred, we also can hold the study visit in our lab at Rutgers' Livingston campus in Piscataway, New Jersey (pending COVID-19 safety procedures). 

How long will this study take?

The total amount of time your teen will be participating in the study is about 2 months. The study procedures will be: 

1) Online study visits (2 hours)- complete surveys, an interview with study staff, and install apps on their phone

2) At-home portion for two months (see below!)

3) Final online study visit (1 hour)- complete surveys and brief interview with study staff

Is my teen eligible to participate?

In order to be eligible for this study, your teen must:

  • be 14-17 years old

  • be in grades 9-12

  • own an Android phone

  • use social media

Complete our screening survey to find out more!

What will participants be doing each day from home?

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1)  Wear an activity monitor, which is a wrist watch-like device that measures a person's activity and sleep/wake patterns.

2) Install an app (provided for free) on their phone that records information from certain sensors (e.g., phone activity).

3) Answer questions 3x/day (plus one additional survey one day/week) about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (less than 10 minutes total per day).

What information can researchers see from participants' phones?

Mobile Phone

The smartphone sensing app records the duration and timing of activities on their phone (e.g., what apps they are using and when). Sensors for this study include: apps, screen use, battery, WiFi, accelerometer, communications, and clock. 

We do not see any of the content or what they are doing on their phone or within apps! For example- we might see that they were on Instagram or received a text at 5PM, but we will not know what they saw or posted on Instagram or who they are texting or the content of the texts.

 Teens will be compensated for their time in the study after the first visit (the baseline), each month of the at-home portion, and at the final study visit. 

Participation in this study is completely voluntary and all information will be kept confidential. 

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Contact

Contact the PLUS-2 Study Team at: hamiltonlab@psych.rutgers.edu