As children are becoming more and more plugged in, it is important to study if and how their online behaviors can impact their development. By understanding how the adolescent brain develops and what children are doing on SNSs, parents, pediatricians and teachers can be better prepared to help encourage healthy online behaviors.
PSYCOM is a website that focuses on a variety of mental health issues, including those related to teens and the impact social media has on development. This study shows a different side of the issue and claims that it is too soon to determine whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens. Here, we learn of benefits and dangers faced by teens who use social media.
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The Royal Society for Public Health released a study that focused on the relationship between social media and mental health as it relates to the youngest members of society. The report shows that the highest percentage of social media use is with those aged 16 – 24. These years are a critical time for emotional and psychosocial development and this report helps provide information and tools that can assist in navigating social platforms in a way that can both protect and empower our youth.
The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health address the changes that occur throughout adolescence. Using social changes as a foundation for this research, the study looks at the ways in which SNSs intersect with adolescent psychosocial development including peer affiliation, the quality of their friendships and how it impacts the development of their identities. This study digs into existing research, address new issues and make recommendations on areas that can still be explored.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics explored the increasing activities children engage in with respect to social media, including gaming sites and virtual worlds. Although these sites provide children with entertainment and the ability to communicate with others, there are dangers that parents need to be aware of. This article provides information that can help pediatricians speak to parents about issues such as cyberbullying, depression, sexting, and other issues related to social media use by children.
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The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health created a novel functional MRI paradigm to simulate Instagram in order to measure the behavior and neural responses of the adolescents who used them. The study showed how important virtual peer endorsements can be to these children. This study helps to better understand the impact peer influence has on adolescents.
This Ted Ed talk shows how priorities among teens have changed over time, and most significantly as social media has become more prominent. Where a teen's top need was once simply to belong, this has recently transitioned into a need to be "liked", on social media that is. The irony is that the need to be liked on social media may be interfering with a teens ability to truly understand and relate to the feelings of others. Neuroscientists have discovered that the part of the brain that creates empathy is only activated when children are day dreaming, and teens today are too busy to day dream, any down time they have is spent on SNSs. If a lack of daydreaming creates a lack of empathy, the long-term results may be a generation that could literally care less.
Social media can amplify social standing and self-expression development issues in teens. This Harvard study spotlights pressures faced by teenagers and how social media may lead to issues such as anxiety, sleeplessness, worry and other troublesome conditions. This study also looks at the rise in suicidal thoughts and depression among teens who spend multiple hours a day online.
The Pew Research Center surveyed teens to learn more about their impression on how social media has affected them. Of those surveyed, 95% of teens said they had access to a smartphone, and 45% admitted to being online 'almost constantly'. But when asked by the researchers, the vast majority of the teens said that they believed that social media had neither a positive or negative effect on their lives. This survey also breaks down and analyses results by gender, race, ethnicity and family income.
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