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1 - Social Media: Risks and Opportunities for Adolescent Development

Fri, April 13, 10:15 to 11:45am, Hilton, Floor: Third Floor, Minneapolis Grand Ballroom-Salon A

Session Type: Invited Data Blitz

Integrative Statement

The use of social media, or digital tools that allow users to share content and interact socially with others, has seen rapid growth among adolescents in recent years. Estimates suggest that as many as 89% of adolescents belong to a social networking site like Instagram or Snapchat, with 71% belonging to more than one (Lenhart, 2015). A full 92% of adolescents go online daily, and three-quarters have access to smart phones with which to do so (Lenhart, 2015). As adolescents turn to social media at unprecedented rates and with staggering frequency, it becomes critical to examine the role of social media in the lives of young people. While early research on social media was primarily limited to examining overall frequencies of use, newer investigations emphasize specific online behaviors, as well as individual characteristics that may shape use. This Data Blitz brings together leaders in the field, conducting cutting-edge research on this increasingly ubiquitous phenomenon. Panelists will present results gleaned from innovate methodological approaches, ranging from observationally-coded social networking data to daily diary assessments. Topics to be covered include associations between social media use and adolescent well-being (e.g., mood and anxiety symptoms, engagement in health risk behaviors), individual differences in use, online self-presentation, and social media as tool for risk identification and intervention. Panelists will discuss the risks and benefits of social media for youth, and will highlight the growing need for research to keep pace with adolescents’ rapid adoption of new technologies.

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