Study Finds Social Media Use Negatively Affects Male and Female Adolescents at Different Ages
A cross-sectional study in the United Kingdom has revealed an association between social media use and lower life satisfaction among children and adolescents aged 10-21 years. The researchers analyzed cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the Understanding Society dataset and the Millennium Cohort Study. The cross-sectional data was used to investigate the existence of developmental windows of sensitivity to social media, while the longitudinal data was used to evaluate whether sex-specific windows of sensitivity to social media were present during the adolescence period.
@ambika Longitudinal analyses revealed different developmental windows of sensitivity to social media during adolescence, with higher estimated social media use predicting lower life satisfaction scores 1 year later (regression coefficient [beta], −0.02; 95% confidence interval, −0.03 to −0.01; P = .004). Among females, the researchers observed a window of sensitivity to social media between the ages of 11 and 13, with higher estimated social media use predicting lower life satisfaction ratings 1 year later (age 11: beta, −0.11; 95% CI, −0.21 to −0.02; P = .020; age 12: beta, −0.14; 95% CI, −0.22 to −0.07; P < .001; age 13: beta, −0.08; 95% CI, −0.15 to −0.01; P = .019). Among males, a similar window was observed between the ages of 14 and 15 (age 14: beta, −0.10; 95% CI, −0.17 to −0.03; P = .005; age 15: beta, –0.18; 95% CI, −0.29 to −0.08; P = .001). Furthermore, they showed that a later increase in sensitivity to social media, which was present at age 19 for both females and males, suggested a different underlying process was present in late adolescence (females: beta, −0.16; 95% CI, −0.25 to −0.07; P < .001; males: beta, −0.16; 95% CI, −0.26 to −0.07; P = .001).