Teenage girls who spend more time on social media have a higher risk of depression than boys, a study has found.
According to a study conducted at the University College London and published in the journal EClinicalMedicine, there appears to be a connection between social media use and depressive symptoms in 14-year-olds, and that connection may be much stronger for girls than boys.
“There’s an alarming difference,” said Yvonne Kelly, first author of the study and a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London in the United Kingdom.
Nearly 40 percent of girls who spent more than five hours a day on apps such as Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp also showed signs of depression, compared with 14.5 percent of boys. Regardless of the length of time, girls were consistently about twice as likely to be depressed in relation to their social media use. Furthermore, girls are using social media at higher rates, with two in five of them spending three or more hours a day on social media as opposed to one in five boys.