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Social Media and Youth Mental Health

Edited by Vicki Harrison, M.S.W., Anne Collier, M.A., and Steven Adelsheim, M.D.

  • 2025
  • 0 Pages
  • ISBN 978-1-61537-501-1
  • Item #37501
Coming August 2024!

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Although the near ubiquity of social media in modern society has raised important questions about its potentially detrimental impacts on youth, discussions often center on its individual effects, largely on risks, prioritizing adult perspectives over young people's lived experience. Social Media and Youth Mental Health offers a broader, multi-generational perspective.

Examining the influence of social media on children and young people from many different yet interconnected angles, the book draws from the expertise of 41 scholars and clinicians around the world. It explores more than a dozen different aspects of social media as they pertain to youth mental health, including:

  • Representations of sexuality in social media
  • Diversity, bullying, and hateful speech on online platforms
  • Online privacy
  • The role of agency in media use and mental health
  • The effect of media multitasking on developing brains
  • The impact of social media on racial, gender, sexual, and class identities
  • The relationship between social media and self-harm and suicide

In addition to discussing the valid concerns about the influence of social media on youth mental health, this book explores the potentially positive role that social media can play in clinical applications, devoting a chapter to its possible use both as a method for disseminating psychoeducation and as a component of digital intervention.

Importantly, Social Media and Youth Mental Health incorporates the voices and perspectives of children and adolescents themselves—too often excluded from the public discourse—throughout the book and in a special chapter that examines the agency and experiences of the young people at the center of the public discussion.

Pragmatic and rich in detailed, evidence-based information, this guide offers a foundational framework from which policymakers, industry leaders, mental health professionals, and researchers can develop a shared understanding of the issue's complexities and promote the urgent need for a new phase of innovation and design that prioritizes health and well-being.


  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1. Media's Prominence in the Lives of Youth
  • Chapter 2. Sexuality and Media
  • Chapter 3. The Challenges of Bullying and Hateful Speech
  • Chapter 4. Misinformation, Disinformation, and Mental Health
  • Chapter 5. Gaming, Identity Construction, and Social Connection
  • Chapter 6. Children's Online Privacy
  • Chapter 7. What Makes Social Media Use Enhancing or Harmful?
  • Chapter 8. Social Media and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Chapter 9. Media Multitasking, Social Media, and the Developing Brain
  • Chapter 10. Intersectional Identities Online
  • Chapter 11. Body Image and Disordered Eating in Adolescence
  • Chapter 12. Social Media, Self-Harm, and Suicide
  • Chapter 13. Role of Social Media Applications in Treatment
  • Chapter 14. Youth Agency and Rights

About the Authors

Vicki Harrison, M.S.W., is Program Director of the Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in California.

Anne Collier, M.A., is Founder and Executive Director of The Net Safety Collaborative, a national nonprofit organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Steven Adelsheim, M.D., is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in California, where he is the Director of the Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.

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