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Does Social Media Make Teens Unhappy? It May Depend on Their Age.

Nonetheless, analysis on the lookout for a direct relationship between social media and well-being has not discovered a lot.

“There’s been completely tons of of those research, nearly all exhibiting fairly small results,” mentioned Jeff Hancock, a behavioral psychologist at Stanford College who has carried out a meta-analysis of 226 such research.

What’s notable in regards to the new research, mentioned Dr. Hancock, who was not concerned within the work, is its scope. It included two surveys in Britain totaling 84,000 individuals. A kind of surveys adopted greater than 17,000 adolescents ages 10 to 21 over time, exhibiting how their social media consumption and life-satisfaction scores modified from one yr to the subsequent.

“Simply when it comes to scale, it’s unbelievable,” Dr. Hancock mentioned. The wealthy age-based evaluation, he added, is a serious enchancment over earlier research, which tended to lump all adolescents collectively. “The adolescent years will not be like some fixed interval of developmental life — they bring about speedy modifications,” he mentioned.

The research discovered that in early adolescence, heavy use of social media predicted decrease life-satisfaction scores one yr later. For ladies, this delicate interval was between ages 11 and 13, whereas for boys it was 14 and 15. Dr. Orben mentioned that this intercourse distinction may merely be as a result of women are inclined to hit puberty sooner than boys do.

“We all know that adolescent women undergo loads of improvement sooner than boys do,” Dr. Orben mentioned. “There are loads of issues that might be potential drivers, whether or not they’re social, cognitive or organic.”

Each the girls and boys within the research hit a second interval of social media sensitivity round age 19. “That was fairly shocking as a result of it was so constant throughout the sexes,” Dr. Orben mentioned. Round that age, she mentioned, many individuals undergo main social upheaval — like beginning school, working in a brand new job or residing independently for the primary time — that may change the way in which they work together with social media, she mentioned.

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