New Study Confirms Link Between Extended Internet Usage and Depression Among Teenage Girls

By this point it has become clear that there is some kind of correlation between internet usage and a negative trajectory in mental health. A new study that was recently published in Psychological Medicine revealed that excessive internet time among teenage girls can lead to detrimental outcomes pertaining to mental health within a span of two years or so.

As depression continues to become an even bigger issue all around the world, teenage girls are bearing the brunt of the problems. Too much internet at 13 can lead to an increased quantity of depressive symptoms by the age of 15 with all things having been considered and taken into account. The same goes for fifteen year old girls by the time they reach 17 years of age.

This is based on research conducted at the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, which took place over two decades and completed in 2018. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that girls consistently showed higher rates of depression when compared to boys.

Social media might play a role here because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up giving girls unrealistic expectations about how they look. That’s not to say that boys don’t experience depressive symptoms caused by social media, but internet usage at 13 did not directly lead to depressive symptoms by the time they were fifteen, although a link was found between 15 and 17 year olds.

As far as girls are concerned, internet usage can have a negative impact much earlier on in life, and it can take more years to full manifest and become apparent. This study focused almost exclusively on Canadians, with 72% of respondents saying that their parents or caregivers were Canadian. Hence, it does not represent the entire world, but it is a crucial linchpin in quantifying the type of mental health outcomes that can occur if internet usage is not reined in at an earlier age to prevent it from spiraling out of control.

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