Health Care

Higher use of social media linked to depression in girls

Higher use of social media linked to depression in girls”

When it came to body image, self-esteem and appearance - while more girls were affected, the gap with boys was not as great. Among kids who used social media for over five hours per day, the depression scores rose by 50 percent in girls and 35 percent in boys compared to the light users. Only 28 percent of boys had the same experience.

For the study, the team interviewed nearly 11,000 girls, who are 14-year-old.

LONDON-Teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use, mainly due to online harassment and disturbed sleep as well as poor body image and lower self-esteem, researchers said on Friday.

Eighteen per cent of girls online for one to three hours a day were found to have clinical signs of depression compared to seven per cent of lads. "For girls, greater daily hours of social media use corresponded to a stepwise increase in depressive symptoms", said Yvonne Kelly, a professor at UCL.

"The link between social media use and depressive symptoms was stronger for girls compared with boys".

However, the study only showed an association between social media use and symptoms of depression, which can include feelings of unhappiness, restlessness or loneliness. Only 4% of girls reported not using social media compared to 10% of boys.

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"My best bet would be the types of things that girls and boys do online", Kelly said.

The study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, was published online in the journal EClinicalMedicine yesterday. They noted than one in two girls and one in four boys had a disrupted sleep "most of the time".

The researchers claimed that these findings are highly relevant to current policy development on guidelines for the safe use of social media and call on industry to more tightly regulate hours of social media use for young people. Stevens has suggested taxing companies to help the NHS cover the costs of treating soaring numbers of under-18s suffering problems such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and psychosis, which Theresa May has made a personal priority.

Rising suicide rates and depression in US teens and young adults have prompted researchers to ask a provocative question: Could the same devices that some people blame for contributing to tech-age angst also be used to detect it? These asked about their social media use and assessed their mental health.

"There are so many ways in which social media is important and has positive features, but there's also ways in which social media can replace social support and connection from people you are living with in person", he said.



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