Frequent social media use bad for teen girls’ psychological health: research study|CTV News

Extremely regular use of social media may jeopardize teen ladies’ mental health by increasing exposure to cyberbullying and minimizing sleep and workout, according to a new study.

In a report released by British medical journal The Lancet, researchers concluded that regular use of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram might interfere with sleep and exercise in addition to increase the risk of online bullying.

“Our results recommend that social networks itself doesn’t trigger harm, however that frequent use might interrupt activities that have a favorable influence on mental health such as sleeping and exercising, while increasing exposure of youths to damaging content, especially the unfavorable experience of cyber-bullying,” according to Professor Russell Viner from University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, who led the research.

The report authors tracked almost 10,000 adolescents, aged 13-16, over 3 years in England between 2013 and 2015.

Each year the children reported the frequency with which they accessed or checked social media.

As concerns about their social media practices, the teenagers were asked about their experiences of cyberbullying, sleep and physical activity.

In both sexes extremely regular social media usage, specified in the study as using social networks, instantaneous messaging or photo-sharing services three or more times daily, was connected with greater mental distress, however less so in young boys.

“The clear sex distinctions we found could merely be credited to ladies accessing social networks more often than kids, or to the truth that girls had higher levels of anxiety to begin with,” co-author Dasha Nicholls from Imperial College London said.

“Cyberbullying might be more widespread among girls, or it might be more carefully related to tension in women than in boys.

“However, as other reports have actually likewise found clear sex differences, the outcomes of our research study make it all the more important to carry out further detailed research studies of the mechanisms of social networks effects by gender.”

Half of all psychological diseases begin by the age of 14, making teenage years a vital duration for promoting mental health, the report authors said.

However there is some evidence that social media use can positively affect health, for instance by lowering social seclusion.

“Social media use amongst children need not be as unfavorable as frequently presumed,” Ann DeSmet from Ghent University, Belgium, added.

“If the displacement of healthy lifestyles and cyberbullying can be attenuated, the favorable effects of social media usage, such as encouraging social interactions, can be more backed.

“This paper shows sleep, cyberbullying and exercise may be essential way of lives to target in protecting and improving youth psychological health.”

For the research study, researchers analysed data from three sets of interviews with teenagers from nearly 1,000 schools across England.

The survey did not capture just how much time the teenagers invested using social networks.

In the 2nd year of the research study, individuals finished the General Health Survey, for which a high score suggests psychological distress.

In the last year, individuals were surveyed about three aspects of their personal wellness – life satisfaction, happiness and stress and anxiety, utilizing standard questions supplied by the U.K’s Workplace for National Stats.

When the authors discovered any significant associations in between the teenagers’ social media use and psychological distress or health and wellbeing, they assessed the degree to which this could be credited to cyberbullying, sleep and exercise.

In 2013, of 13,000 children spoke with, 43 per cent of young boys and just over half of women utilized social media numerous times a day. By 2014, this had actually increased to 51 percent and 68 percent respectively.

In 2015, 69 percent of kids and 75 per cent of ladies used social networks several times a day.

The study was carried out by scientists from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Kid Health and Imperial College School of Medication in London, England.

This content was originally published here.

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