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Is social media bad for mental health and wellbeing? Exploring the perspectives of adolescents

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journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2018, 09:55 by Michelle J. O'Reilly, Nisha Dogra, Natasha Whiteman, Jason Hughes, Seyda Eruyar, Paul Reilly
Despite growing evidence of the effects of social media on the mental health of adolescents, there is still a dearth of empirical research into how adolescents themselves perceive social media, especially as knowledge resource or how they draw upon the wider social and media discourses to express a viewpoint. Accordingly, this paper contributes to this scarce literature. Six focus groups took place over three months with 54 adolescents aged 11–18 years, recruited from schools in Leicester and London (UK). Thematic analysis suggested that adolescents perceived social media as a threat to mental wellbeing and three themes were identified; 1) it was believed to cause mood and anxiety disorders for some adolescents, (2) it was viewed as a platform for cyberbullying, and (3) the use of social media itself was often framed as a kind of ‘addiction’. Future research should focus on targeting and utilising social media for promoting mental wellbeing among adolescents and educating youth to manage the possible deleterious effects.

History

Citation

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2018

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/Department of Media, Communication and Sociology

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

1359-1045

eissn

1461-7021

Copyright date

2018

Available date

04/05/2018

Publisher version

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1359104518775154

Language

en

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