By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Many parents worry that social media could have a detrimental effect on their teen’s well-being, but a new study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health helps identify which kids are most at risk.

Researchers in England interviewed more than 12,000 teens between the ages of 13 and 16 and found that girls who use social media multiple times a day were more likely than boys to report psychological distress like decreased happiness and increased anxiety.

But they found that three factors seemed to account for most of that distress in girls: cyberbullying, poor sleep and inadequate physical activity.

The researchers say perhaps instead of trying to curb social media use in teens, efforts should be focused on reducing the effects of cyberbullying, including making our kids more resilient to it, ensuring our kids get good sleep and making sure they get plenty of physical activity.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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