High Social Media Use Tied to Depression in Only Some Teens

Teens who are being bullied, have hostile parents, or have parents who do not monitor media are at risk
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, July 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- High social media use is only tied to increased depression in teens who are already vulnerable, according to a study published online June 26 in the Journal of Adolescence.

W. Justin Dyer, Ph.D., from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and colleagues examined the varying ways early social media use was associated with the development of depressive symptoms among 488 adolescents. Annual surveys began in 2010 (average age, 13.33 years) and continued for eight years.

The researchers identified five trajectories, confirming social media use does not impact all adolescents in the same way. For adolescents with greater parental hostility, peer bullying, anxiety, reactivity to stressors, and lower parental media monitoring, social media use was related to increased depression. Social media use was either related to less depression or was unrelated to depression under other conditions.

“If their friends and parents are warm and supportive, and the parents monitor their teens' media use, moderate amounts of social media use (less than three hours a day) may be a good thing,” Dyer said in a statement. “Teens appear to be greatly benefited when parents provide guidance as they navigate social media. That guidance may make all the difference.”

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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