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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Sep;16(9):472. doi: 10.1007/s11920-014-0472-x.

Adolescents and the internet: what mental health clinicians need to know.

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Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.


The Internet's permeation into daily life has profoundly changed the practice of psychiatry with adolescents, who mobilize online social media and related technologies in their efforts to develop identity and "hang out" with peers. Technology offers both challenges and opportunities to mental health professionals working with teens. Practitioners will need a new skill-set, including keeping abreast of technological developments; professionally incorporating technology into clinical assessment and practice; identifying the negative impacts of technology on teens' physical and mental health and the particular vulnerabilities of at-risk patients in a digital world; and guiding patients and parents about interventions. Particular patient factors related to race/ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, mental health and trauma history, family culture, parenting style, and personality traits will need to be considered. This article provides an overview of the literature on adolescents and the Internet focusing on recent research on Internet and digital technologies used for social communication among youth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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