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The mental health and well-being profile of young adults using social media

Di Cara, Nina, Winstone, Lizzy, Sloan, Luke S. ORCID:, Davis, Oliver S.P. and Haworth, Claire M A 2022. The mental health and well-being profile of young adults using social media. npj Mental Health Research 1 , 11. 10.1038/s44184-022-00011-w

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The relationship between mental health and social media has received significant research and policy attention. However, there is little population-representative data about who social media users are which limits understanding of confounding factors between mental health and social media. Here we profile users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children population cohort (N = 4083). We provide estimates of demographics and mental health and well-being outcomes by platform. We find that users of different platforms and frequencies are not homogeneous. User groups differ primarily by sex and YouTube users are the most likely to have poorer mental health outcomes. Instagram and Snapchat users tend to have higher well-being than the other social media sites considered. Relationships between use-frequency and well-being differ depending on the specific well-being construct measured. The reproducibility of future research may be improved by stratifying by sex and being specific about the well-being constructs used.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. To view a copy of this license, visit
ISSN: 2731-4251
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 4 May 2022
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 05:03

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