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Potential of social media in promoting mental health in adolescents

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posted on 21.05.2018, 14:24 by Michelle O'Reilly, Nisha Dogra, Jason Hughes, Paul Reilly, Riya George, Natasha Whiteman
The growing prevalence of adolescent mental disorders poses significant challenges for education and healthcare systems globally. Providers are therefore keen to identify effective ways of promoting positive mental health. This aim of this qualitative study was to explore perceptions that social media might be leveraged for the purposes of mental health promotion amongst adolescents aged between 11-and-18 years. Utilising focus groups conducted with adolescents (N=54), educational professionals (N=16) and mental health practitioners (N=8) we explored their views about the value of social media for this purpose. Three themes were identified. First, social media appears to have potential to promote positive mental health. Second, adolescents frequently utilise social media and the internet to seek information about mental health. Finally, there are benefits and challenges to using social media in this way. We conclude that despite challenges of using social media and the risks, social media does offer a useful way of educating and reaching adolescents to promote mental wellbeing.

History

Citation

Health Promotion International, 2018, day056

Author affiliation

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

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Health Promotion International

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0957-4824

eissn

1460-2245

Acceptance date

20/05/2018

Copyright date

2018

Available date

30/07/2019

Publisher version

https://academic.oup.com/heapro/advance-article/doi/10.1093/heapro/day056/5061526

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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