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Exploring the potentially positive interaction between social media and mental health; the perspectives of adolescents

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-07-13, 08:07 authored by Michelle O'Reilly, Diane Levine, Veronica Donoso, Liam Voice, Jason Hughes, Nisha Dogra
Adolescents are spending significant time online. Consequently, concerns are consistently raised about potential negative impacts on their mental health. Potentially, these concerns minimise their autonomy and reify the construction of the vulnerable adolescent. Using template analysis, we explored adolescents’ perspectives (N = 54) of the relationship between social media and mental health. We centrally considered the wide array of uses made of different social media by the participants, focusing on their understandings of the potentially positive effects these might have. Focus group discussions showed social media could be used to reduce stress, have value for social connectivity, were an important source of information about mental health, and provided a platform for peer-to-peer support. Our conclusion indicated adolescents are generally socially competent online and are often experimenting with their emergent sense of agency.

Funding

Wellcome Trust (Grant number: 109393/Z/15/Z)

History

Author affiliation

Department of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

1359-1045

eissn

1461-7021

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2022-07-13

Spatial coverage

England

Language

English