Social Media Experience of Psychiatrically Hospitalized Adolescents

Children and Screens

This study examined social media use within a large clinical sample of adolescents, and explored associations among social media use and suicidal thoughts and behaviors (“STBs”). Study participants with a history of suicide attempts were more likely to endorse both positive and negative experiences on social media. One example of their positive social media experiences was receiving support or encouragement from friends on social media. Among the negative experiences that those with prior suicide attempts were more likely to have were being bullied or harassed on social media, seeing photos or posts that made them feel left out or excluded, engaging in negative online social comparisons, and looking at pro-suicide content online. These findings are consistent with emerging research suggesting that depressed youth may have heightened emotional responses to social media.