A new study has found that social media raises children’s risk of mental health problems by up to half. The study of more than 10,000 children showed that checking various social media platforms weekly means the risk of suffering “psychological distress” is up to 20 percent; while logging in as little as four times a day can raise the danger by half.
The researchers who carried out a major study warned that social media exposes teenagers to cyber-bullying and harms sleep.
The study also showed that teenage girls who check Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat weekly have a 20 percent risk of psychological distress. But for those logging on frequently — four times a day or more — the risk increases to 28 percent, a rise of 40 percent.
Boys on social media irregularly have a ten percent risk of suffering mental health issues. But it rose to 15 percent in those who logged on several times a day.
With half of all mental illness starting before the age of 14, Dr. Louise Theodosiou, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said social media giants must do more to protect kids.
According to The Sun UK, she said:
“We’ve seen a worrying rise in low mood and depression among girls and young women in recent years. This paper helps our understanding of the link between social media use and mental health problems.”
The findings are in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.