Social Media as It Interfaces with Psychosocial Development and Mental Illness in Transitional Age Youth


Brian A. Primack
César G. Escobar-Viera


For transitional age individuals, social media (SM) is an integral component of connecting with others. There are 2 billion SM users worldwide. SM users may experience an increase in perceived social support and life satisfaction. Use of SM may facilitate forming connections among people with potentially stigmatizing mental disorders. However, epidemiologic studies suggest that increased SM use is associated with conditions such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. Future research should examine directionality of these associations and the role of contextual factors. It also will be useful to leverage SM to provide mental health care and surveillance of mental health concerns.

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