Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
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Depression linked to social media twice as high among teenage girls

Depression linked to social media twice as high among teenage girls

Rising suicide rates and depression in USA teens and young adults have prompted researchers to ask a provocative question: Could the same devices that some people blame for contributing to tech-age angst also be used to detect it?

So what's the connection between social media use and depression?

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. We were quite surprised when we saw the figures and we saw those raw percentages: "the fact that the magnitude of association was so much larger for girls than for boys", said Yvonne Kelly, first author of the study.

When it comes to body image and self-esteem, more girls were affected but the researchers noted that the gap was not as significant.

Two-fifths of girls studied by UCL researchers have suffered online harassments or online bullying compared to one-quarter of boys, while 40 percent of girls, compared to 28 percent of boys, have suffered sleep loss because of online habits, according to the study.

For example, while 7.5 per cent of 14-year-old girls and 4.3 per cent of 14-year-old boys have been the victim of online harassment, 35.6 per cent of girls who are depressed have experienced that - double the 17.4 per cent of boys who have done so.

About 10 percent of boys surveyed said that they do not use social media at all.

"For boys, higher depressive symptom scores were seen among those reporting three or more hours of daily social media use".

"My best bet would be the types of things that girls and boys do online", stated Kelly to CNN.

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

The study was published online in the journal EClinicalMedicine on Friday.

Anne Longfield, the children's commissioner for England, has warned that even some children as young as nine "are becoming nearly addicted to "likes" as a form of social validation that makes them happy, and many are increasingly anxious about their online image and "keeping up appearances".

Social media and internet companies have been criticised for not acknowledging the impact their services have on the lives of young people. Seeing that everyone was happy and enjoying life made me feel so much worse.

"I think it's important for young people to look up from their phones and focus more on the world around them, and the incredible connections that they can make there".

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