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A new study by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, has shown that teenagers who have spent three hours more on social media are more likely to be anxious and depressed (file image)

Teenagers who spend more than three hours a day on social media run a higher risk of mental health problems, the study finds

  • 97% of teenagers report being on at least one social media platform and 45% say they & # 39; almost constantly & # 39; be online
  • Researchers asked teenagers how much time they spent on social media and screened them for behavioral problems
  • Teenagers who spent more than three hours a day on social sites were more likely to experience anxiety, depression and loneliness
  • They were also more likely to be more aggressive and to bully others
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Teenagers who spend more than three hours a day on social media run a higher risk of psychological problems, a new study says.

Researchers discovered that teenagers who spent hours browsing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, more often had feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness.

These teenagers were also more likely to be more aggressive, bully others or exhibit onenti-social behavior.

The team, from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, says that although the findings are concerned, doctors suggest they are able to pick up early warning signs of psychological problems by keeping track of how much time high school students spend online.

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A new study by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, has shown that teenagers who have spent three hours more on social media are more likely to be anxious and depressed (file image)

A new study by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, has shown that teenagers who have spent three hours more on social media are more likely to be anxious and depressed (file image)

Social media has become a daily part of life for most teenagers in the US.

A 2018 Pew Research Center report 97 percent of teenagers found that they used at least one of the seven most popular social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube.

Moreover, it is very easy for teenagers to access these platforms.

The same report found that 95 percent have or have access to a smartphone, and 45 percent said they have & # 39; almost constant & # 39; were online.

And although social media is praised for helping young people acquire technical skills and establishing relationships, it has also been criticized for increasing exposure to bullying and reducing the amount of time teenagers spend sleeping and exercising.

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For the new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the team looked at around 6,600 American teenagers between 12 and 15 years old.

Teenagers were asked if they had a social media account and how much time they spent on their account during a normal day: up to 30 minutes; more than 30 minutes; up to three hours; more than three hours; up to six hours; and more than six hours.

Mental health problems were assessed using a screener called GAIN-SS that identifies behavior problems and the severity of symptoms

Results show that those who have more than used social media three hours a day reported more often & # 39; internalizing problems & # 39; such as feeling anxious, depressed or lonely compared to teenagers who did not use social media.

They also linked this more often to & # 39; externalizing behavior & # 39; such as aggression, bullying and onenti-social behavior.

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& # 39; Future research should show whether setting limits on daily use of social media, increasing media literacy, and redesigning social media platforms are effective means of reducing the burden of mental health problems in this population & # 39 ;, wrote the authors.

This is not the first study to produce comparable findings.

A study conducted earlier this year by the University of Montreal in Canada found that the more time teenagers look at screens, the more depressed they become

And another study published last month showed that teenage girls who often use social media sites report higher percentages of mental stress and lower levels of well-being.

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