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social media and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

The majority of young people in the UK use social media and there are concerns around the potential harms to wellbeing this may have. A new study, published in The Lancet, looks at over 12,000 adolescents across England, following them up over 3 years, investigating their social media use, along with levels of sleep, exercise and reports of bullying, to try and unpick what is it about social media use that may directly or indirectly impact a young person’s mental health and wellbeing.

Journalists came to the SMC to hear two of the study’s authors discuss:

  • What constitutes ‘very frequent’ social media use and how does this relate to young people’s wellbeing and life satisfaction?
  • Is it social media use itself or other related factors that mediate these observed changes in well-being? What role does cyberbullying play?
  • Do we see a difference in the influence of these factors between genders? If so, do we know why?
  • In supporting young people, are we focusing on the right interventions?

Speakers included:

Prof Russell Viner, Professor in Adolescent Health, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Dr Dasha Nicholls, Reader in Child Psychiatry, Imperial College London


This Briefing was accompanied by a Roundup of third party comments 

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