SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTS ON TEENS
GIRLS are twice as likely to show signs of depression linked to social media by the age of 14 when compared with boys, according to research.
Researchers at University College London found that girls tend to spend more time on social media and also experience worse psychological effects from doing so.
They said two major factors which cause social media to impact mental health for both genders are online harassment and interrupted sleep.
The paper, published yesterday in the Eclinical Medicine journal, is the first of its kind to look at associations between social media and depressive symptoms. It analysed data from nearly 11 000 14-yearolds from the Millennium Cohort Study.
The study involved teenagers completing information on their social media use, online harassment and sleep patterns.
Girls were heavier social media users, with two-fifths using it for more than three hours per day compared with one-fifth of boys.
The findings indicated that 38% of heavy social media users – those using it for five or more hours a day – showed signs of severe depression.
Meanwhile, 40% of girls had experience of online harassment, compared with just 25% of boys.
Shirley Cramer, of the Royal Society of Public Health, said: “This research confirms that we need to increase awareness and understanding among parents, schools and policymakers about the role of social media in our young people’s mental health, particularly the increased risks for girls.” | Daily Mail