TikTok's Impact on Adolescents: Study Finds Severe Mental Health Issues for Addictive Users

A new study published in Psychiatry Research talks about how TikTok and other short form videos impact the lives of adolescents and young people. The study talks about three types of users who watch TikTok and other videos. These users are categorized as non-users, moderate-users and addictive-users. According to the study, addictive users are the ones who have the most negative impacts on their physical and mental well being. These impacts include bad physical health, poor academic performance, strain in relationships and their social life as compared to other users.

In this digital era, many adolescents rely on TikTok and other short form video apps for their entertainment. There have been many researches on impacts of social media on adolescents, but not many studies have been made on how watching engaging yet short videos affect their mental health. This study was done by differentiating between moderate and addictive users first. The watching pattern of addictive users was studied with different psychosocial patterns.

The researchers wanted to know if TikTok and other videos are only entertainment for youngsters or are there greater effects on their mental health and relationships. The research was done by categorizing 1346 adolescents in China as non-users, moderate users and addictive users. These people were assessed based on their mental health, academic performances, relationships with parents and experience with bullying. All of these factors made it easier for researchers to study short-form video platforms usage among adolescents and its effects on them.

It was found out that addictive users had higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Moreover, these adolescents were not good in their academics and were victims of bullying too. Their relationship with family was also poor, and they mostly suffered from negative parenting styles and their parents were not well-educated. Compared to this, moderate-users were more similar to non-users. The only difference they showed were their negative family environments.

Even though this research is quite useful for understanding adolescent behaviors, it still has some limitations like it is only based on Chinese adolescents and cannot be applied to adolescents of the rest of the world. The researchers also asked people to not generalize addictive-users loosely because more research is needed for other cultures and age groups to understand this more.

Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

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