Research Repository

Gender differences in the associations between age trends of social media interaction and well-being among 10-15 year olds in the UK

Booker, CL and Kelly, YJ and Sacker, A (2018) 'Gender differences in the associations between age trends of social media interaction and well-being among 10-15 year olds in the UK.' BMC Public Health, 18 (1). ISSN 1471-2458

[img]
Preview
Text
document.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (868kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background Adolescents are among the highest consumers of social media while research has shown that their well-being decreases with age. The temporal relationship between social media interaction and well-being is not well established. The aim of this study was to examine whether the changes in social media interaction and two well-being measures are related across ages using parallel growth models. Methods Data come from five waves of the youth questionnaire, 10-15 years, of the Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (pooled n =9859). Social media interaction was assessed through daily frequency of chatting on social websites. Well-being was measured by happiness with six domains of life and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results Findings suggest gender differences in the relationship between interacting on social media and well-being. There were significant correlations between interacting on social media and well-being intercepts and between social media interaction and well-being slopes among females. Additionally higher social media interaction at age 10 was associated with declines in well-being thereafter for females, but not for males. Results were similar for both measures of well-being. Conclusions High levels of social media interaction in early adolescence have implications for well-being in later adolescence, particularly for females. The lack of an association among males suggests other factors might be associated with their reduction in well-being with age. These findings contribute to the debate on causality and may inform future policy and interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescents, Gender, Growth curve modelling, Longitudinal studies, Social media interaction, Well-being
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 16:10
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2018 16:10
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21744

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item