PopDigests Policy Briefs Discussion Papers Policy Insights Books and Reports Yearbook Related Content Books and Reports - Growing up in Hungary - Cohort ’18 Hungarian Birth Cohort Study. Technical report 2. Prenatal wave Event - Life Course Research Using the British Cohort Studies: Intergenerational Transmission of Partnership Dissolution Books and Reports - Towards Bayesian Model-Based Demography Event - Advances in Mortality Forecasting Event - Preparing for the future III – tackling key challenges facing longitudinal population studies in a post-COVID world Event - Lund Population Day 2021: Big Microdata and Population Research Policy Brief The Mental Toll of Being Connected What kind of impact is social media having on adolescent health? Document Download Population & Policy Compact 19/2018 (700.7 KB) Image Key messages: Adolescence is a time when young people establish habits, certain health behaviours and lifestyles that shape later life outcomes, however, there is not a wide range of research on adolescents’ health. The number of adolescents dealing with mental illness, specifically depression, is growing. Depression at this young age can have implications on one’s future mental and physical health. Social media use among adolescents has resulted in higher levels of unhappiness, anxiety and depression among young people. Students should learn in school how to navigate social media, and be educated about mental health and how to recognise when either themselves or someone they know is suffering. Awareness also needs to be drawn to how they can seek support. More research focused on adolescent health and mental health is needed to understand the long-term impact of health in adolescence and to contribute to the establishment of preventative programmes to help reduce long-term costs. References: Booker, C. L., Kelly, Y. J., & Sacker, A. (2018). Gender differences in the associations between age trends of social media interaction and well-being among 10-15 year olds in the UK. BMC Public Health 18: 321. Eurostat (2017). Severity of current depressive symptoms by sex, age and income quintile Harris, K. M. & McDade, T. W. (2018). The biosocial approach to human development, behavior, and health across the life course. RFS: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 4(4): 2-26. Klaas, Hannah (2018). Experiencing burn-out or depression can also bring personal growth in the long run. NCCR LIVES. Li, Y. I., Starr, L. R., and Wray-Lake, L. (2017). Insomnia mediates the longitudinal relationship between anxiety and depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample of adolescents. Depression and Anxiety 35(6): 583-591. Ploubidis, G. B., Sullivan, A., Brown, M., and Goodman, A. (2017). Psychological distress in mid-life: Evidence from the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohorts. Psychological Medicine 47(2): 291-303. Richards, M. and Abbott, R. (2009). Childhood mental health and life chances in post-war Britain. London: Sainsbury Centre for Medical Health, The Smith Institute, UNISON, & UK Medical Research Council. Royal Society for Public Health (2018). #StatusofMind: Social media and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. London: Royal Society for Public Health. Shanahan, M. (2013). Social genomics and the life course: Opportunities and challenges for multilevel population research. In: L. Waite and T. J. Plewes (Eds.) New Directions in the Sociology of Aging (pp. 255- 276). Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. Srinivas, S., Rajendran, S., Anand, K., and Chockalingam, A. (2018). Self-reported depressive symptoms in adolescence increase the risk for obesity and high BP in adulthood. International Journal of Cardiology 269: 339-342. World Health Organization (2018). Adolescent mental health in the European Region. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe. Author(s) Balbo Source Balbo, N. (2018): The Mental Toll of Being Connected. What kind of impact is social media having on adolescent health? Population & Policy Compact 19, Berlin: Max Planck Society/Population Europe.