"Our findings suggest that social media itself does no harm, but frequent use can interfere with activities. This has a positive effect on mental health, such as sleeping and exercising, while increasing exposure of young people against harmful content, especially the negative experiences with cyber-bullying, "said co-author Russell Viner of the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health of UCL said in a statement.
In other words, social media itself could not be responsible for mental health problems; Rather, girls' sleep quality and physical activity are impaired while users are exposed to cyberbullying. This leads to a deterioration of well-being and mental health problems.
Bob Patton, Clinical Psychology Lecturer at the University of Surrey, This means that strategies that focus only on reducing the use of social media as a tool to improve well-being or mental health may not help.
required to reduce both physical and psychological harm, "said Patton, who was not involved in the research, in a statement.
For boys, the effects on their mental health seem to be due to other causes, Therefore, further research is required, the authors said.
The difference between boys and girls
The study was conducted once a year from 201
The researchers found that they did not record how much time the participants spent on these sites, which is a limitation of the study.
In 2014 and 2015, researchers asked about the psychological burden the personal well-being of teenagers, things like life satisfaction, happiness and fear.
The researchers found that social media usage was very common in both genders coupled with greater mental stress. The effect on girls became particularly clear: the more often they have accessed social media, the greater their psychological burden.
Almost 60% of girls' mental health impact, however, was due to poor sleep quality and increased cyberbullying burden, with diminished physical activity playing a lesser role. For boys, however, these factors accounted for only 12% of the impact of very frequent use of social media on mental stress.
Information on how to help teenagers.
According to Ann DeSmet, a professor at the University of Ghent in Belgium, this is an important distinction was not involved in the research.
"If the shift in a healthy lifestyle and cyberbullying can be mitigated, the positive effects of using social media, such as promoting social interaction, can be more strongly confirmed," she said in a statement. 19659018]