'Higher use of social media linked to depression in girls'

Social Media-Depression Link In Teen Girls

"There's an alarming difference", said Yvonne Kelly, first author of the study and a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London in the United Kingdom.

The researchers said the underlying processes of this phenomenon are not well understood.

For the study, the team interviewed nearly 11,000 girls, who are 14-year-old. "We looked at sleeping habits; experiences online, so cyberbullying; how they thought about their bodies, or their body image, and whether they were happy with how they looked; and their self-esteem", she said.

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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. 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. They found that on average, girls had higher depressive symptom scores compared with boys. "All of those four things - the sleep, the cyberharassment, the body image or happiness with appearance, and the self-esteem - they are all linked with the risk of having depression". While just 5.4 per cent of girls and 2.7 per cent of boys overall said they slept for seven hours or less, 48.4 per cent of girls with low mood and 19.8 per cent of such boys said the same.

Yet the study, conducted in the United Kingdom, showed only an association between social media use and symptoms of depression, which can include feelings of unhappiness, restlessness or loneliness.

The study also found that 12 per cent of light social media users and 38 per cent of heavy social media users (more than five hours a day) showed signs of having more severe depression. How Internet Use Affect The Emotional Well-Being Of Teenagers As researchers delve even deeper into the case, they found that more girls have experienced online harassment or cyberbullying than boys.

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The study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, was published online in the journal EClinicalMedicine on Friday.

"It is likely that excessive use of social media does lead to poorer confidence and mental health", says Stephen Scott, director of the National Academy for Parenting Research at King's College London. These asked about their social media use and assessed their mental health. Social media use was proportionately related to less sleep, taking more time to fall asleep and more disruptions during sleep.

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

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