skip to primary navigation skip to content
Amy Orben
Programme leader
01223 766 166
Research Themes:

Amy is a Programme Leader Track Scientist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge and a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. She leads the Digital Mental Health programme at the MRC CBU. 

Her programme's research examines how digital technologies affect adolescent psychological well-being and mental health. She is particularly interested in the potential cognitive, biological and social mechanisms that underlie this link in both non-clinical and clinical populations, and the influence of individual differences. To study such research questions, Amy's team uses innovative and rigorous statistical methodology, secondary datasets, and Open Science approaches. Their results, in turn, shed new light on pressing questions debated in policy, parenting and mental health, having informed advice given by national and international experts such as the UK Chief Medical Officers and the US Surgeon General. 

Amy is a member of the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport "College of Experts" giving direct advice to government, as well as the British Academy Public Policy Committee. She also sits on the University of Cambridge Open Research Steering Committee and the ESRC New and Emerging Forms of Data Leadership Group. Amy has won the British Neuroscience Association Researcher Credibility Prize and the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science Mission Award for her work to improve scientific practices.

Previous to joining the MRC CBU, Amy completed an MA in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge before joining the University of Oxford to obtain her DPhil in Experimental Psychology, for which she was award the BPS Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research 2019 and the Understanding Society Young Researcher Prize 2019. During her time at Oxford she was also nominated for the ‘Best Tutor’ award at the Oxford Student Union’s Annual Teaching Awards.

Her updated CV is available here.

CBSU publications
ORBEN, A. , Blakemore, S-J. (In Press) How social media affects teen mental health: the missing factor, Nature [Read More]

Leightley, D., Bye, A., Carter, B., Trevillion, K., Bramthonne-Foster, S., Liakata, M., Wood, A., Ougrin, D., ORBEN, A. , Ford, T., Dutta, R (In Press) Maximising the positive and minimising the negative: Social media data to study youth mental health with informed consent , Frontiers in Psychiatry [Read More]

Ghai, S., FASSI, L., Awadh, F., and ORBEN, A. (In Press) Lack of Sample Diversity in Research on Adolescent Depression and Social Media Use: A Scoping Review and Meta-Analysis, Clinical Psychological Science [Open Access]

Anvari, F., KIEVIT, R.A., Lakens, D., Pennington, C.R., Przybylski6, A.K., Tiokhin, L., Wiernik, B.M., and ORBEN, A. (In Press) Not all effects are indispensable: Psychological science re-quires verifiable lines of reasoning for whether an effect matters, Perspectives on Psychological Science [Open Access]

McCrosky, J.D., Parry, D.A., Sewell, C.J.R., ORBEN, A. (In Press) Using Browser Data to Understand Desires to Spend Time Online, PsyArXiv Preprints [Open Access]

Modecki, K.L., Goldberg, R., Wisniewski, P., ORBEN, A. (In Press) What is digital parenting? A systematic review of past measurement and blueprint for the future, Perspectives on Psychological Science [Read More]

Livingstone, S., ORBEN, A. , Odger, C. (2022) Debate: Should academics collaborate with digital companies to improve young people’s mental health?, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 28(1), 150-152 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. , Minihan, S., Songco, A., Fox, E., Ladouceur, C., Mewton, L., Moulds, M.L., Pfiefer, J., Van Harmelen, A-L., Schweizer, S. (2022) Social Determinants of Mental Health During a Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Development and Psychopathology, 07 Jul 2022, :1-13 [Open Access]

Ghai, S., Magis-Weinberg, L., Livingstone, S., ORBEN, A. (2022) Social Media and Adolescent Well-being in the Global South, Current Opinion in Psychology, 10 Mar 2022, 46:101318 [Open Access]

Kievit, R., McCormick, E.M., FUHRMAN, D., Deserno, M.K., ORBEN, A. (2022) Using large, publicly available datasets to study adolescent development: Opportunities and challenges, Current Opinion in Psychology 44(4 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. (2022) Digital Diet: A 21st century approach to understanding digital technologies and development, Infant and Child Development, 31(1), e2228 [Open Access]

Vuorre, M., ORBEN, A. , Przybylski, A. (2021) There is no evidence that associations between adolescents’ digital technology engagement and mental health problems have increased, Clinical Psychological Science, 9(5), 823-835 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. , Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A.K. (2020) Only holistic and iterative change will fix digital technology research, Psychological Inquiry, 31(3), 235-241 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. , Tomova, L., Blakemore, S-J. (2020) The effects of social deprivation on adolescent social development and mental health, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 4(8):634-640 [Open Access]

Kaye, L.K., ORBEN, A. , Ellis, D.A., Hunter, S.C.,Houghton, S. (2020) The Conceptual and Methodological Mayhem of “Screen-time”, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(10), 3661 2020 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. , Przybylski, A.K. (2020) Reply to: Underestimating digital media harm, Nature Human Behaviour, 4(4):349-351 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. , Lakens, D. (2020) Crud (Re)defined, Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 3(2), 238-247 [Open Access]

ORBEN, A. (2020) The Sisyphean Cycle of Technology Panics, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(5), 1143-1157 [Open Access]