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In response to Tuesday’s release of the US Surgeon General’s advisory highlighting the mental health risks of excessive social media use for children and teens, related information is flooding the Internet. The article below summarizes key viewpoints to provide a succinct resource for behavioral health professionals developing timely interventions with parents.
National Professional Association Articles
Two national behavioral associations have printed relevant guidance for their members since Tuesday. The American Counseling Association published an article reviewing the issues and offered the following benefits to social media use as reported by youth:
- Social media helps youth feel more accepted
- People on social media can support youth during difficult times
- A platform to demonstrate their creative side
- Youths feel more connected to what’s going on in their friends’ lives.
The American Psychological Association (APA) offered these 10 suggestions for therapists to consider after making it clear that the dangers of social media in youth depend on the child or adolescent, their strengths and weaknesses, their skills, and their environment as they intersect with different types of social media. The APA offered the following 10 suggestions to help therapists and parents make constructive decisions to protect youth from the dangers of social media:
- Children and adolescents should be urged to use features that cultivate social support, companionship, and emotional bonds, fostering healthier socialization.
- Parents may want to tailor social media use and permissions to align with children’s developmental capabilities with the awareness that adult-oriented designs may be harmful.
- Adult supervision, which includes reviewing, discussing, and coaching social media content, is recommended for early adolescents. Autonomy can gradually increase with age and digital literacy skills while maintaining a balance with appropriate privacy needs.
From Telebehavioral Health Institute – Read More