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Wellbeing, Self-harm and Social Media: A literature review, thematic analysis and reflective account

Brown, Amy (2017) Wellbeing, Self-harm and Social Media: A literature review, thematic analysis and reflective account. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University & Keele University.

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Abstract or description

The use of social media (SM) has grown rapidly and continues to do so as a popular form of communication. SM is most commonly used by young people and adolescents, most of who use it daily. The rates of depression and anxiety in adolescents have also increased rapidly in recent years with a number of individuals within this age group being at an increased risk of developing mental health problems due to a number of social and economic factors. Previous research has reached both positive and negative conclusions about the impact of SM use on adolescent’s wellbeing. The aim of the current literature review is to synthesise and update current research relating to SM use and wellbeing in adolescents and young people, with the specific purpose of remaining relevant to the fast-paced growth of SM sites and their use. A systematic search strategy and selection criteria resulted in nine quantitative papers aimed at answering the question; does online SM use have an impact on adolescents and young people’s wellbeing? Both positive and negative impacts on wellbeing were found (depending on the measure of SM use, definitions of SM use and conceptualisations of wellbeing). Positive impacts on wellbeing included both hedonic and eudaimonic conceptualisations of wellbeing; adolescents self-concept, social connectedness, reducing emotional difficulties, improving self-esteem and reducing depressed mood. Negative impacts on wellbeing focussed more on hedonic conceptualisations of wellbeing and included; increased distress, suicidal ideation, and decline in mood/affect and a decline in life satisfaction ratings. The overall quality of the research was poor. In conclusion further quality research is needed to explore the relationship between SM use and wellbeing. Specifically qualitative research is needed to add richness and depth to the current knowledge in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 12:50
Last Modified: 16 May 2018 12:50

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