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PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development


Capella University

PSY FPX 5201 Integrative Project for Master’s Degree in Psychology

Prof. Name


Media Use in Adolescents: Impact on Social Development

The increasing prevalence of media usage presents both opportunities and challenges for adolescents, impacting their social development. This study aims to explore the effects of media, particularly social media, on adolescent social development and to identify potential strategies for responsible media use.

Effects of Media on Social Development

Adolescence is a critical period for social development, marked by the transition from familial relationships to peer interactions (Boer et al., 2020). While media can facilitate social connections, excessive use, especially at night, has been associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, and depression among adolescents (Keles et al., 2019). Additionally, adolescents’ emotional sensitivity and cognitive immaturity make them vulnerable to the influence of emotion-arousing media (Back et al., 2018). Despite the advantages offered by media, such as staying informed and entertained, there are growing concerns about its detrimental effects on psychological well-being (Ostic et al., 2021).

Challenges and Risks

Adolescents face various challenges related to media use, including distractions, sleep disturbances, cyberbullying, exposure to unrealistic portrayals, and peer pressure (Vasanth et al., 2021). Cyberbullying, in particular, has been linked to serious consequences like suicide attempts (Hinduja et al., 2010). Unrealistic standards propagated by influencers and peers on social media contribute to social comparison and pressure to conform, adversely affecting self-esteem and social development (Allen & Antonishak, 2008).

Addressing Media Use

Understanding adolescents’ motives for media use, which range from information seeking to socializing, is crucial (Madge et al., 2009). It is imperative to support adolescents in developing self-awareness and prioritizing offline connections while navigating the digital landscape (Eschenbeck et al., 2018). Encouraging responsible media use, guided by adults and positive role models, can help mitigate negative effects and promote healthy social development (Tur et al., 2015).

PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development


While media use among adolescents presents risks to social development, proactive measures can mitigate these effects. Strategies for responsible media use, coupled with support from adults and role models, are essential. Further research is needed to understand the evolving dynamics of media use and its impact on adolescent social development.


Allen, J. P., & Antonishak, J. (2008). Adolescent peer influences. Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents, 141-160.

Boer, M., Stevens, G. W., Finkenauer, C., & Deković, M. (2020). The longitudinal interplay of adolescents’ self-esteem and perceived parental support in the development of emotional and behavioral problems. Journal of youth and adolescence, 49(2), 330-343.

Back, M. D., Stopfer, J. M., Vazire, S., Gaddis, S., Schmukle, S. C., Egloff, B., & Gosling, S. D. (2010). Facebook profiles reflect actual personality, not self-idealization. Psychological Science, 21(3), 372-374.

Eschenbeck, H., Kohlmann, C. W., & Lohaus, A. (2007). Gender differences in coping strategies in children and adolescents. Journal of individual differences, 28(1), 18-26.

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. Archives of suicide research, 14(3), 206-221.

Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J., & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: ‘It is more for socializing and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141-155.

PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development

Tur, J. A., Puig, M. S., Benito, E., Pons, A., & Miranda, M. T. (2015). Media use in adolescence: associations with concurrent health risk behaviors. The Journal of adolescent health: official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 56(6), 614-620.

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