Medicine

Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls

Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls

Among those with depression and low mood, 48.4 percent girls and 19.8 percent boys said that they got less than seven hours sleep.

The investigation likewise discovered that 12 percent of light social media users and 38 percent of substantial social media users hinted at having increasingly extreme despondency.

The University College London team quizzed 11,000 14-year-olds on their social media exposure and emotions over a fortnight. The participants provided information on their social media habits, sleep patterns, body image, and experience of online harassment.

Only four per cent of girls reported not using social media compared to ten per cent of boys.

"It's not social media use but excessive social media use that leads to depressive symptoms,"said psychiatrist Dr. Vivian Kapil".

There are countless studies linking teens' social media use with depression, but that has advocates wondering if technology might actually be the best way to reach those suffering.

So what's the connection between social media use and depression? Furthermore, girls are using social media at higher rates, with two in five of them spending three or more hours a day on social media as opposed to one in five boys.

"The link between social media use and depressive symptoms was stronger for girls compared with boys".

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Girls were also more affected when it came to social media use and concerns about body image, self-esteem and appearance, the researchers found, but here the gap with boys was smaller.

"Inevitably there is the chicken and egg question, as to whether more dissatisfied children, who to begin with are less pleased with their body shape and have fewer friends then spend more time on social media".

The study had some limitations, including that the findings show only a correlation between depressive symptoms and social media use, not a causal relationship.

The new study serves as "a good addition to the literature on this important topic", said Dr. Anne Glowinski, professor of child psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved in the research.

Among teens, "if their sleep is disturbed, and that's because they're using social media a lot, could you cut back on their social media and improve their sleep?"

Depression linked to social media is nearly twice as high among teenage girls compared to boys, according to research by University College London (UCL). This was in comparison with teenagers who used it for one to three hours/day.

"With an impact of social media on social life, the incidence of anxiety and depression is increasing among the adolescents".