Social Media and Mental Health

New findings published by The Lancet suggests social media use may be associated with young people’s mental health, specifically young girls.

United Kingdom researchers examined data on 10,904 14-year-olds born between 2000 and 2002 in the U.K. for the study, using a variety of regression and path models to find associations between social media use and depressive symptoms.

On average, research showed that girls had higher depressive symptom scores compared with boys. Girls also reported spending more time on social media than boys. According to the study, teen girls who spent more than five hours on social media per day had a 50 percent increase in depressive symptoms and boys experienced a 35 percent increase in symptoms compared to those who used social media for only one to three hours per day.

Overall, more social media use resulted in a higher probability of teens experiencing mental health problems, the study found.