How do smart phones impact children's lives?

(September 18, 2017) - Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and many other social platforms find a place in children’s lives but what is the impact on their overall well-being, attention, school grades, friendship and leisure activity?

UVic researchers, Sam Liu (Faculty of Education) and Ulrich Mueller (Faculty of Social Sciences) have teamed up to examine smart phone use by middle school and high school students in a unique research study.

“We want to know how cell phone use impacts children’s sleep patterns, friendships, exercise and emotional well-being,” says UVic psychologist Ulrich Mueller, “there is some research suggesting that up to two hours of smart phone use daily is actually good for children and its only prolonged periods of time that are detrimental; however, there is really not enough data to draw firm conclusions.” Mueller researches the effects of outdoor play on social and mental child development.

 ”Schools are currently implementing various cellphone policies ranging from a complete ban to embracing it in classroom learning” Says Sam Liu. “The questionnaire we developed will help us inform best practices for cellphone use in schools.”

To complete the questionnaire, parents and students can go to School Cell Phone Study or to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Ulrich Mueller (Psychology) at 250-721-7548 or

Sam Liu (School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education) at 250-721-8392 or