Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls

Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls

Dr Yvonne Kelly, a professor at University College London's Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care who co-led the study, urged parents and policymakers to note its results.

"These findings are highly relevant to current policy development on guidelines for the safe use of social media, and calls on industry to more tightly regulate hours of social media use for young people", Kelly said in a statement.

The research is based on interviews with nearly 11,000 14-year-olds who are taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study, a major research project into children's lives. "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.

Teen girls are twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use - mainly due to online harassment and disturbed sleep, as well as poor body image and lower self-esteem, British researchers say.

They found that two-fifths of girls have suffered online harassments or online bullying compared to one-quarter of boys. The paper also revealed that 40 percent of girls said that they often had disrupted sleep. "Girls, it seems, are struggling with these aspects of their lives more than boys, in some cases considerably so".

Researchers found the most important routes from social media use to depressive symptoms were shown to be via poor sleep and online harassment. Among kids who used social media for over five hours per day, the depression scores rose by 50 percent in girls and 35 percent in boys compared to the light users. They noted that girls spent more time on social media than boys and these girls had more pronounced signs of depression than boys.

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But some investors have anxious that that process could push long-term rates higher at a time when the economy was slowing. The message was heard on Wall Street, where major stock indexes surged about 3.5 percent to a more than two-week high.

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

"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".

Dr. Gary Maslow, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Duke Health and assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, said the study finding of four factors related to social media use and depressive symptoms was interesting.

But a new study published today in the Lancet's EClinicalMedicine journal appears to draw hard links between depression in teenagers and social media use.

Shannon McLaughlin, 18, from Blackburn, explained how social media has harmed her mental health.

The extent to which social media has embedded itself into the daily lives of people can not be understated.

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