Foster care families with teens may be happy to hear about a recent study on social media and depression. Researchers found that daily social media use is not a strong or consistent risk factor for depressive symptoms among adolescents. Here’s more about this study, and what it may mean for your foster children.
What The Study Says about Social Media and Depression in Teens:
Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health reviewed data on boys and girls in the eighth and tenth grade. They found that daily social media use did not appear to increase symptoms of depression, and found that interacting online can even be a positive outlet for isolated teens that may have positive effects on self-esteem. However, they did warn that teens who use social media most frequently may have worse mental health to begin with.
More Social Media Suggestions for Foster Care Families with Teens:
These findings may be a relief for many foster parents, especially during the pandemic when teens may have few options other than social media for staying in touch with their friends. Overall, the researchers stressed that social media can have positive or negative effects on teens. It all depends on the context. For example, teens may still need to be protected from the potential risks of cyberbullying, spreading rumors, and comparing themselves unfavorably with others. On the other hand, teens can also benefit from positive interactions online, and the opportunity to share advice and support. As always, it’s important that foster parents and other responsible adults set reasonable limits on time spent online and monitor social media activity. As a foster parent, you can help your teen to master good online etiquette, and use social media to strengthen their friendships.
Contact us at 2INgage to learn more about becoming a foster parent. We have information and resources to answer your questions about foster care and adoption.