Article

Looking beyond mobile phones to understand the well-being of Portuguese young adults

Tiago LapaTiago Lapa, Gustavo Cardoso, ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa; Charo Sádaba, Javier García-Manglano, Gonzalo Fernández Duval, Grupo de investigación Jóvenes en Transición, ICS, Universidad de Navarra;
Commissioned research

In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies such as the mobile phone are a double-edged sword. The results of this study show that, on the one hand, problematic use of mobile technologies is associated with lower levels of well-being among young adults. On the other hand, Portuguese young adults believe that mobile technologies have been essential to their well-being through the lockdowns and social distancing rules triggered by the pandemic. But technology is only part of the equation: Young adults’ well-being also varies according to gender, education, occupation, household composition, sleep hygiene, satisfaction with close relationships, study or work achievement and use of free time.
Key points
  • 1
       More than a quarter (26.7%) of a sample of Portuguese young adults had low well-being, compared to just under a third (31.9%) showing high well-being.
  • 2
       Lower levels of well-being were found among young women, the unemployed (those who do not work or study), those with primary education or an undergraduate degree, and those who lived without family.
  • 3
       On average, respondents reported using their mobile phone for 5 hours and 35 minutes per day. Daily, they also spent on average two hours and 27 minutes communicating via messages; two hours and 40 minutes using online social networks (Instagram, TikTok, and the like); an hour and 31 minutes watching videos or series; and almost half an hour playing games on their mobile. Female respondents reported spending half an hour more per day on their mobile devices than male respondents.
  • 4
       When mobile phone use is problematic, the proportion of respondents with high personal well-being is lower. 41.9% of respondents who had problematic mobile phone use displayed low levels of well-being. However, most respondents (74.5%) thought that mobile phones had quite a bit or a lot of importance for their well-being during the pandemic.
  • 5
       Higher levels of well-being are found among young adults who reported spending at least a few hours per week on screen-free hobbies and physical activities and also among those who reported sleeping at least eight hours a day.
  • 6
       High levels of well-being were observed among respondents who were satisfied with their relationships with family and friends, and, above all, their academic or work performance and the use of their free time.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

calls

Call to support research projects on the social reality of young people (FP22_1B)

The Social Observatory of the ”la Caixa” Foundation has announced a call to support research projects on the social reality of young people in Portugal, using quantitative survey data in social sciences.

Article

The health and well-being of Portuguese citizens: impacts of covid-19

This study provided data on the impact of covid-19 on the health and well-being of Portuguese respondents. Results show that they reported their health to be worse than before the pandemic and that access to healthcare was greatly affected, with surgeries or medical appointments cancelled or postponed.

You may also find interesting

Evolution of science and technology in Portugal and Spain

Article

Evolution of science and technology in Portugal and Spain


Science

Research and innovation in Portugal and Spain have developed along parallel paths, albeit with some distinctive features.

Science-business links in Portugal and Spain: untapped potential for innovation?

Article

Science-business links in Portugal and Spain: untapped potential for innovation?


Science

In Portugal and Spain, only 6% of PhD holders work in the business sector. There is a broad margin for improvement in the relationship between science and business.

Health safety knowledge in Portugal and Spain

Article

Health safety knowledge in Portugal and Spain


Science

This article examines how being motivated by disease prevention (“safety”) or pleasure promotion (“pleasure”) shapes the way people construe sexual health and pursue their sexual goals.