Pressure to be available 24/7 on social media is linked to depression, anxiety and poor sleep amongst teenagers.
Adolescents who are emotionally invested in social media have worse psychological well-being, a new study has found.
They typically felt under pressure to react and respond to texts and posts immediately.
Dr Cleland Woods, the study’s lead author, said:
“Adolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this.
It is important that we understand how social media use relates to these.
Evidence is increasingly supporting a link between social media use and wellbeing, particularly during adolescence, but the causes of this are unclear.”
The study included 467 teenagers who were asked about their social media use and levels of anxiety and depression.
Dr Woods said:
“While overall social media use impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to be particularly affected.
This may be mostly true of individuals who are highly emotionally invested.
This means we have to think about how our kids use social media, in relation to time for switching off.”
The study was presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference 2015 in Manchester, UK.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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