According to a study conducted by researchers at University College London’s Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care suggest that teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use. This is mainly due to online harassment, poor body image, lower self-esteem and disturbed sleep, said the researchers on Friday.
The study included an analysis of 11,000 young people in Britain, where it was found that 14-year-old girls were heavier users of social media. Two-fifth of the girls used social media for more than three hours a day, compared to that of a fifth of boys.
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The researchers found that 40 per cent of girls and 25 per cent of boys had experienced online harassment or cyberbullying. Disrupted sleep was reported by 40 per cent of girls compared with that of 28 per cent boys. Girls were also more affected when it came to social media use and concerns about body image, self-esteem and appearance.
The study also found that 12 per cent of light social media users and 38 per cent of heavy social media users showed signs of having more severe depression.
The study was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and published online in the EClinicalMedicine journal on Friday.