Parental control of the time preadolescents spend on social media: links with preadolescents’ social media appearance comparisons and mental health

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    Abstract

    Time spent on social media and making online comparisons with others may influence users’ mental health. This study examined links between parental control over the time their child spends on social media, preadolescents’ time spent browsing social media, preadolescents’ appearance comparisons on social media, and preadolescents’ appearance satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction. Preadolescent social media users (N = 284, 49.1% female; aged 10–12) and one of their parents completed online surveys. Preadolescents, whose parents reported greater control over their child’s time on social media, reported better mental health. This relationship was mediated by preadolescents spending less time browsing and making fewer appearance comparisons on social media. Parental control over time spent on social media may be associated with benefits for mental health among preadolescents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1456-1468
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
    Volume47
    Issue number7
    Early online date5 Jun 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Keywords

    • social media
    • parental mediation
    • social comparison
    • body image
    • depression
    • life satisfaction

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