The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) is the largest study in the world looking specifically at the impact of mobile phones and social media on young people’s physical and mental health, and brain function. 

Mental health issues impact people of all ages, backgrounds and class. They often develop during adolescence, which we carry into our adult lives. This is a burden on us as individuals and wider society. Understanding what the key causes of mental health issues are, means we can look into how to improve mental health in young people and adults. 

No single study has been able to understand what is so significant about teenage years in terms of the development of mental health issues, especially in combination with the prolific use of digital technologies and brain function. However, the way we conduct our research means we are uniquely placed to answer this question. 

We started our study in 2014 with 7,000 young people from 39 schools across greater London, and where possible, have followed up with them every 2 years since. We collect information on brain function, digital technology use, demographic, socio-economic status, lifestyle and environment, physical and mental health.  This will allow us to look at how all these factors may be related to mental health, and ultimately, what can be done to improve this, by making recommendations to policy makers accordingly. 

Because we collect so much information around different factors that may impact mental health, we can look at lots of different research questions. Find out more about these sub-studies.

For a full list of published outputs from SCAMP, click here.

Image shows the spread of SCAMP schools across Greater London and neighbouring counties.

We have now entered the next phase of our research, where we will be following up with our current cohort and looking to expand to a new cohort (16-20 yr olds from Greater London) via an app which we are releasing over the next few months. Information about how to get the app will be available on the website when the app has launched. 

The work with SCAMP and the team is led by Prof. Mireille Toledano. Find out more about Our Team.  

Our Values: 

We embed Patient and Public involvement in our research practice. We strongly believe that we should complete our study with our participants and young people, not on or for them. For this reason, we work closely with our Young Persons Advisory Group and Ambassadors around the design and promotion of our research respectively.  

Our Collaborators: 

University of Cambridge

University College London

University of Edinburgh

Birkbeck, University of London

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Our Funders: 

The SCAMP study is based at Imperial College London and was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care between 2014-2020 and is now funded by the Medical Research Council, 2021-2026.


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