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J Adolesc. 2017 Feb;55:5-15. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.12.002. Epub 2016 Dec 18.

Depressed adolescents' positive and negative use of social media.

Author information

1
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Oakland Medical Building, 3420 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, United States. Electronic address: ana.radovic@chp.edu.
2
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Oakland Medical Building, 3420 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, United States. Electronic address: Theresa.gmelin@chp.edu.
3
RAND Corporation, 4570 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States. Electronic address: stein@rand.org.
4
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Oakland Medical Building, 3420 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States; Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, United States. Electronic address: Elizabeth.miller@chp.edu.

Abstract

This qualitative study examined descriptions of social media use among 23 adolescents (18 female, 5 male) who were diagnosed with depression to explore how social media use may influence and be influenced by psychological distress. Adolescents described both positive and negative use of social media. Positive use included searching for positive content (i.e. for entertainment, humor, content creation) or for social connection. Negative use included sharing risky behaviors, cyberbullying, and for making self-denigrating comparisons with others. Adolescents described three types of use in further detail including "oversharing" (sharing updates at a high frequency or too much personal information), "stressed posting" (sharing negative updates with a social network), and encountering "triggering posts." In the context of treatment, these adolescents shifted their social media use patterns from what they perceived as negative to more positive use. Implications for clinicians counseling depressed adolescents on social media use are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Depression; Social media; Technology

PMID:
27997851
PMCID:
PMC5485251
DOI:
10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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