Strong teen-parent bond counters ill-effects of social media – survey

A strong parenting relationship can mitigate the mental health risks of heavy social media use for teenagers, a new survey suggests. — Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa

DUBLIN: The negative effects of heavy social media use on teenagers are in part offset by close parent-child ties, according to a survey conducted by US pollster Gallup.

Teens that reported a "strong, loving relationship with their parents" do not appear to have the same level of reported mental health problems as teenagers whose bonds with parents have frayed, according to the survey, which overall showed adolescents glued to social media apps reporting increased anger and sadness as a result.

After surveying more than 6,000 parents and kids, Gallup found teenagers to be spending almost 5 hours a day on average on social media apps and websites.

Girls on average spend longer scrolling and posting than boys, while 17-year-olds spend almost 6 hours a day on the apps, compared to 4 hours and less for younger teens.

The time spent on social media plays a role when it comes to mental health, according to the survey.

"Teens who spend five or more hours per day on social media apps are significantly more likely to report experiencing negative emotions compared with those who spend less than two hours per day," Gallup found.

Around a quarter of teenagers who cross the 5-hour threshold reported "feeling a lot of sadness" afterwards, compared with 19% of those who spend less than 2 hours on social media.

Parents also appear to be increasingly worried: research published by the American Medical Association on October 26, the day before the Gallup findings were released, showed twice as many reporting "specific concerns about internet addiction than substance addiction."

A US government survey published in early 2023 showed rising levels of reported "sadness" and suicidal thoughts among US teenage girls, findings that have been linked to excessive social media use. – dpa

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Tech News

Netflix subscriber growth in focus as gains from password-sharing crackdown seen easing
Exclusive-TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain
China’s thirsty data centres, AI industry could use more water than size of South Korea’s population by 2030, report warns
Couple duped in ‘very unusual’ gold bar scam loses over RM550,000, US cops say
Attractive China farm worker, 26, becomes Internet sensation after quitting office job to work with animals
Humble China street vendor makes sacrifices to support academically gifted daughters who gain PhD and master’s degree, goes viral
Women in tech, AI in focus as Web Summit opens in Rio
Spotify says 25% of US, UK, Australia subscribers try audiobooks
US SEC targets its own staff’s texting, nixes WhatsApp on work phones
This US city is using AI to detect homeless camps. Will others follow suit?

Others Also Read