Teenagers’ mental health is being harmed by heavy use of social media, according to new research.
As the BBC reports, the research was carried out by the “Education Policy Institute” and The “Prince’s Trust “and in its context it is found that wellness/well-being is at similar levels in all primary school-age children. It begins to be affected at the age of 14, but the mental health of girls declines more afterwards, as it was found. A major factor is the lack of physical activity, which has been worsened due to the pandemic.
According to the research, one in three girls did not feel well with their personal appearance at 14, while in primary school it was one in seven; the number of young people with potential mental illnesses had increased (one in six, while in 2017 it was one in nine).
Well-being of both sexes decreases during puberty, with girls experiencing a greater decline; however, it is believed that girls’ self-esteem and well-being stabilize as they enter the latter stages of puberty, while continuing to decline for boys.
Heavy use of social media is associated with negative well-being and low self-esteem, regardless of a young person’s mental state; with more girls experiencing feelings of depression and despair.
“Those who feel worse may turn to social media for comfort or a sense of community”
said Dr. Amy Orben, a researcher at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, about the research.
“It’s not empty, it works both ways.”
The research examined 5,000 young people in England from the “Millennium Cohort Study”.
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