TitleSocial Media as It Interfaces with Psychosocial Development and Mental Illness in Transitional-Age Youth.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsPrimack, BA, Perryman, KL, Crofford, RA, Escobar-Viera, CG
JournalChild Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am
Date Published01/2022
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Humans, Internet, Mental Disorders, Social Media, Video Games, Young Adult

Key points

  • Social media has grown substantially, with more than 4.2 billion new users worldwide in the past 25 years.
  • Nearly all transitional-age youth use social media, and most use it daily.
  • Social media use has increased during the time of COVID-19.
  • Large nationally representative studies demonstrate consistent, linear associations be-tween social media use and depression and anxiety among young adults.
  • However, social media networks also may be leveraged to identify individuals with mental health concerns and engage transitional-age youth in treatment.
  • Future research will be important to determine best practices for optimal use of social media to retain its benefits but minimize its drawbacks.


Social media (SM) can be defined as "a group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." This includes formation of online communities and sharing of information, ideas, opinions, messages, images, and videos. Therefore, although all online video games would not necessarily count as SM, video games that allow for substantial sharing of information and development of online communities do fit this definition. SM has become an integral component of how people worldwide connect with friends and family, share personal content, and obtain news and entertainment. Use of SM is particularly prevalent among transitional-age youth, usually defined as individuals aged 16 to 24 years, who are at critical junctures around developmental tasks such as identity development and establishment of social norms.

Alternate JournalChild Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am
PubMed ID34801149