Nick Allen is an expert in mental health, adolescent mental health and development, and developmental social affective neuroscience. As the director of the Center for Digital Mental Health, his research focuses on understanding the interactions between multiple risk factors for adolescent onset mental health disorders and developing innovative approaches to prevention and early intervention. In May 2022, he launched a research study with Google to study the effects of smartphone use on mental and physical well-being.  

"We urgently need high-quality research to identify which use patterns are associated with benefits versus risks, and who is likely to experience harmful versus beneficial outcomes."

“I think what would be a great outcome is if they looked at the impact on health and well-being as a kind of a fundamental kind of design criteria when you’re building a device.”

“What is the thing at this stage of life that is most plastic, that is open for input? That tells you where the risk is, but it also tells you where the opportunity is."

"When we look at any technology...the question is not to ask how much time are people spending on it, but rather to say, is the way people are using it going to either promote those mental-health goals or is it going to inhibit?


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New Study Looks at How Smartphones Affect Mental Health

A University of Oregon-led study of Android users investigates the effects of smartphone use on mental and physical well-being.
25-May-2022 09:00:28 AM EDT

University of Oregon tackles children’s behavioral health with $425M+ gift

The University of Oregon has launched The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, a bold new approach to addressing the behavioral and mental health care needs of Oregon’s children. The Portland-based institute is made possible by a lead gift of more than $425 million from Connie and Steve Ballmer, co-founders of Ballmer Group Philanthropy.
07-Mar-2022 02:05:15 PM EST

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