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

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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=4,083). 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Journalnpj Mental Health Research
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2022


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