Grand Award

Third Place

Were Kids Happier in the 80s?

Human Health and Behavior

Andrea Klein

Teachers have noticed that behaviors have changed amongst students in the last few years. Students, overall, seem less focused, are expressing more unfavorable behaviors in the classroom, and it is more difficult to get students to do school work. We know excessive screen time can alter emotions and create aggressive behavior. The teachers wondered if the students were aware of this or if they could possibly find a correlation through a study. Our two second grade classes discussed video games, TV, and tablets and their impact on our behaviors/moods. We talked about how screens did not exist in this capacity in the eighties and how students had to entertain themselves for the most part. We then asked for student volunteers to do a two-week study and see if we could discern a difference in behavior/mood when kids have normal screen time vs. severely limited or no screen time. Students helped create the journals (one for self rating and one for their parents to rate the students behavior) to track their moods and behaviors for two weeks. One class did limited-no screen time for 7 days while the other class used screens per usual. Both classes tracked moods and behaviors. Then after seven days the classes switched and continued to track moods and behaviors. At the end of two weeks students turned in both sets of journals to their teachers. The teachers then input the data from only the caregiver’s journal into a spreadsheet. The conclusion was that parents reported their students to be .2 (on our scale of 1-5) happier with severely limited to no screen time.

Project presentation

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One thought on “Were Kids Happier in the 80s?

  1. As a young adult in the 80’S we were out of the house most of the day AND families came first. Thank you for including your family in this project and …get out and explore this great world!

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