Social media use may increase anxiety in young people

Social media use may increase the internalisation of mental health in young people, according to an international study, which found that there are very few studies currently looking at this association in a clinical setting. The team analysed data from 143 studies spanning 16 years of research, finding that just 11% of studies examined clinical populations while 88% examined the general population. The data from those clinical studies showed a small association between social media use and an increase in internalising mental health – such as anxiety and depression – in young people, which the authors say mirrors the findings in papers looking at the general population. The authors say that the lack of research from clinical studies restricts the generalisability of existing research and hinders researchers’ ability to evaluate and compare the link between social media use and mental health in clinical vs non-clinical populations.