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'‘This is not an Intervention, It’s a Movement!’: reducing screen time in teens

59 months
Approved budget:
Dr Samantha Marsh
Health issue:
Wellbeing (autonomy self-determination)
Proposal type:
Explorer Grant
Lay summary
Excessive screen time is a public health issue in New Zealand due to its adverse effects on the physical and socio-emotional health of teenagers. A new way of targeting this pervasive behaviour is required. The field of neuroeconomics may provide us with a solution, as it challenges underlying assumptions about how decisions are made. While current screen interventions assume decision making is purely rational, neuroeconomic thought asserts that emotion also plays a key role, particularly in the presence of risk and uncertainty. We propose to design and test a parenting intervention to reduce teen screen time by using inspiration to target the emotional side of the decision-making process. This unique approach acknowledges the level of uncertainty and risk that underlies parental decisions regarding their teen’s screen time, something that is currently missing in interventions, and therefore has potential to significantly impact the field.