Social media can be a great tool for young people to connect with others, but this age group should proceed cautiously when interacting online. A new study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found that negative experiences of social media among teenagers and young adults are associated with increased depressive symptoms. The study evaluated positive and negative social media experiences in relation to depression.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburg surveyed 1,179 full-time students ages 18 to 30 at the University of West Virginia about their social media experiences. Each 10 percent increase in positive experiences on social media was associated with a 4 percent decrease in the odds of experiencing symptoms of depression. However, each 10 percent increase in negative experiences was associated with a 20 percent increase in the odds of experiencing depressive symptoms.
The lead authors said that the study results can be helpful in educating the public about the risks of negative social media experiences, and in designing strategies that protect young people from negative social media experiences and improve their online interactions.
Sourced from: University of Pittsburg Schools of the Health Sciences
Therese Borchard is a Senior Editor of HealthCentral, covering Mental Health & Wellness, Brain & Nerve Health, and Skin Health. She has written for a variety of websites, including CNN, The Huffington Post, Everyday Health, and Psych Central, and is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist. Founder of the online depression communities Project Hope & Beyond and Group Beyond Blue, Therese advocates on behalf of those who live with depression and other mood disorders. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter @thereseborchard.