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Time spent on social media linked to lower self-esteem among girls

Last Updated: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 16:45

Sydney: Teenage girls, who spend more time on social media, are more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies and have low self-esteem, a new study has revealed.

Researchers from New Flinders University interviewed more than 1000 high school girls and found that conversations about appearance were "intensified" on social media.

It was found that the conversations were more influential because they involved peers.

The girls who were first interviewed in years 8 and 9 were asked about their social media habits and self-esteem, then again when they were in years 10 and 11.

It was found that by then 90 per cent had a Facebook account, with an average of 475 friends and were uploading pictures of themselves to the internet.

The time they spent on social media also soared from 1 hour 45 minutes a day to 2 and half hours.

Around 46 percent of the girls surveyed said they were dissatisfied with how much they weighed, although 80 percent of them were classified as normal weight.

According to social commentator Melinda Tankard Reist , young girls seeking affirmation via social media were "setting themselves up for negative mental health outcomes."


First Published: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 16:45

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