Guidance Counselor Perceptions on the Influence of Social Media on Adolescent Mental Health in Affluent Middle Schools in New Jersey

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Several studies on the impact of social media usage on adolescent anxiety and/or depression have been done in the last several years (Andreassen et al., 2017; Bell, 2019; Best et al., 2014; Brunborg & Burdzovic, 2019; George et al., 2018; George & Odgers, 2015; Haidt & Twenge, 2019; Hunt et al., 2018; Kelly et al., 2018; Keyes et al., 2019; Lin et al., 2016; Rasmussen et al., 2020; Shensa et al., 2018; Twenge, 2013, 2017, 2020; Twenge & Campbell, 2018, 2019; Vannucci et al., 2017; Wegmann et al., 2015; Woods & Scott, 2016). However, only a few of the studies have focused on adolescents at the middle school level. Research has shown that as social media usage has increased, so has adolescent anxiety and depression (Twenge, 2017a). The present study aimed to gain guidance counselors’ and school psychologists’ perceptions on whether social media use increases anxiety and depression among middle school students within affluent districts in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Participants included eight middle school guidance counselors and two middle school-based school psychologists from affluent districts in Monmouth County, New Jersey. An interview-guide approach was used to conduct individual, semi-structured, virtual interviews. This study revealed that adolescents’ rate of social media usage can be associated with the level of anxiety and depression either indirectly or directly.

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  • 02/02/2024
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