Title

Digital Addiction: What is happening with our children?

First Presenter's Institution

University of West Georgia

Second Presenter's Institution

University of West Georgia

Third Presenter's Institution

University of West Georgia

Fourth Presenter's Institution

University of West Georgia

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Meet & Greet Poster Reception (Harborside)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

As the integration of technology is infused into our lives, we must work together to identify students who may be suffering from digital addiction. As a student advocate and leaders within their schools, school counselors, administrators, social workers, and mental health counselors are in an optimal position to educate school staff, students, and community members on the signs and symptoms, dangers, and treatments of digital addiction

Brief Program Description

Our poster presentation will inform participants about the signs, symptoms, assessment, and resources available for children suffering from digital addiction.

Early identification of digital addiction is essential for the well-being of all students.

Summary

The current youngest generation has been given the name Generation Z, referring to individuals born after the year 2000 (Barr, 2016). This generation has grown up with a fully functioning internet, social media and a constant proliferation of information. According to The Huffington Post’s article,8 Key Differences between Gen Z and the Millennials,” forty percent of generation Zer self-identified as being addicted to their digital devices including computers and smartphones (Beall, 2016). Given the high usage of digital technology, how do school counselors work with stakeholders to educate a generation “born and raised in an era of technological explosion and currently encompassing the student body of our schools” (Perez-Escoda, Castro-Zubizarreta, & Fandos-Igado, 2016, p. 72)?

In today's society, the pervasiveness of internet usage by adolescents is well documented (Gross, 2008; Pew Research, 2016). However, there is a lack of research showing how the internet is related to adolescent’s well-being and development (Gross, 2008). This lack of research is alarming given the increased push for the integration of technology within schools. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 48 states and the District of Columbia currently support online learning opportunities that range from fully online classrooms to supplementing classroom instruction (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Although schools are embracing the push of technology within the classroom, few resources have been provided to schools to help identify students who may struggle with technology or internet integration. Although studies have shown that the integration of technology within the classroom can increase educational productivity by accelerating the rate of learning (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.), additional research suggests the negative impact that continuous exposure to technology can have on adolescents. These negative effects include, but are not limited to, poor dietary behaviors, irregular bedtime, alcohol and tobacco usage, internalizing of problem, and lower social connectedness (Kim et al, 2010; Tsitsika et al., 2014). Additional guidelines are needed to identify and provide mental health services to these students.


Evidence

School counselors, who work primary with students to address their mental health concerns, can serve as advocates to inform and educate stakeholders on the positive and negative benefits of prolonged internet usage. pParents/guardians and the community need to be informed to help identify students who are participating in harmful behaviors. As digital integration into society continues to emerge at increased rates, it is essential that administrators, school counselors, mental health counselors, social workers and parents stay abreast to current research and trends within this area to address the needs of their students and community. All can help to identify and provide services to students who may be struggling with digital addiction or who needs support in developing healthy technology habits.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Julia S. Chibbaro, PhD, LPC, ACS, is a Professor of Counselor Education at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA. Dr./ Chibbaro has published in the areas of advocacy, expressive arts, cyberbullying, ethics and digital addiction. Her primary research foci are digital awareness and using creativity in counseling. Dr. Chibbaro has 15 years of experience as a counselor educator, 15 years of experience as a professional school counselor and 7 years as a mental health counselor.

Olivia U. Williams, PhD, LPC, is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at the University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA. Dr. Williams has published in the area of equity, multicultural counseling and virtual simulation in counselor education. Dr. Williams has 4 years of experiences as a counselor educator.

Christy Lanbd, PhD, LPC, is an Assistant Professor of Counselor education at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA. Dr. Land has published in the areas of group counseling, creativity in counseling, and ethics. Dr. Land has 7 years of experience as a professional school counselor and 4 years of experience as a counselor educator.

Mary Huffstead, PhD, LPC is a Clinical Serves Coordinator and counselor educator at the University of West Georgia. Dr. Huffstead has had 8 years of experience as a clinical mental health counselor specializing in the area o play therapy. She is in her first year as a counselor educator.

Keyword Descriptors

addictions, internet usage, technology, adolescents, behavioral addictions

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-9-2020 4:45 PM

End Date

3-9-2020 6:00 PM

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Mar 9th, 4:45 PM Mar 9th, 6:00 PM

Digital Addiction: What is happening with our children?

Meet & Greet Poster Reception (Harborside)

Our poster presentation will inform participants about the signs, symptoms, assessment, and resources available for children suffering from digital addiction.

Early identification of digital addiction is essential for the well-being of all students.