Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Social Work

Advisor

Rachel Casey PhD, MSW

Keywords

LGBT+ youth, social media, mental health

Abstract

Sexual and gender minority youth are statistically more likely to face severe mental health challenges than their cisgender, heterosexual peers; they consistently comprise a disproportionate percentage of youth who report experiencing depression, suicide ideation and attempted suicide in the United States every year (e.g. Abreu & Kinney, 2018). The aim of this study was to fill a gap in the current literature base by investigating the effects of social media use on sexual and gender minority youth mental health. The researchers conducted an online anonymous questionnaire targeted toward American LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, etc.) youth ages 14 to 18, which included two separate measurement scales: The Social Network Sites (SNSs) Usage Questionnaire (Shi, Luo, Yang and Liu, 2014) and the Pediatric Depressive Symptoms Survey, which is a shortened version of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) (Irwin et al., 2010). Preliminary results of a Pearson's Correlation analysis did not indicate a significant relationship between social media use and self-reported depressive symptoms. This study’s results could potentially be used to educate practitioners, instructors or queer youth about the relationship between mental health and the use of SNSs.

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