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Social media and children’s mental health: a review of the evidence

It is over a decade since the exponential growth of social media began and research into this aspect of our modern lives is therefore in its infancy. In this new report, the Education Policy Institute investigates what is known so far about the relationship between young people’s use of social media and their emotional and mental wellbeing.

As this report demonstrates, further research is required to fully understand the impact of such a rapid change in the way in which young people communicate and develop social relationships in the digital world.

This report points to the need for a greater understanding of how to build resilience in young people as they navigate this relatively unchartered territory. Government policy should therefore focus on what can be done at a national level to invest in further research and to support the industry, families and schools to build this resilience in young people.

This report explores the relationship between social media and young people’s mental health. The Education Policy Institute has investigated what is known about the extent to which young people are using social media. We have reviewed the evidence so far on the positive aspects of this development, as well as the risks and potential harm to young people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. The report also summarises recent Government policy to address concerns about online safety and identifies areas for further research.