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The number of American teens with depressed thoughts has been increasing since 2012. Looking at the data, it's possible to rule out some factors that might be causing it, like economic inequality and academic pressure. Jean Twenge, author of "iGen," believes all signs point to increased smartphone use as the likely cause. Twenge says it's not necessarily the screen time but the time that's lost to smartphones that could be spent on more meaningful activities, like face-to-face interaction. Around 2012, something started going wrong in the lives of teens. In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. teens who felt useless and joyless – classic symptoms of depression – surged 33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13- to 18-year-olds who committed suicide jumped 31 percent. In a new paper published in Clinical Psychological Science, my colleagues and I found that the increases in depression, suicide attempts and suicide appeared among teens from every background – more privileged and less privileged, across all races and ethnicities and in every region of the country. All told, our analysis found that the generation of teens I call "iGen" – those born after 1995 – is much more likely to experience mental health issues than their millennial predecessors. What happened so that so many more teens, in such a short period of time, would feel depressed, attempt suicide and commit suicide? Read more: