The impact of online social networking on adolescent psychological well-being (WB): a population-level analysis of Korean school-aged children

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Abstract

This study examines the extent to which online media activities are associated with psychological well-being of adolescents. Data come from the Korean Youth Panel Survey (KYPS), a government-funded multiyear research project. Based on Wave 4 (2007) and Wave 5 (2008) of KYPS, the most recent data available, hierarchical linear models are estimated to probe the psychological effects of time spent online. While holding constant a host of time-lagged control variables at individual (student) and contextual (school) levels, the analysis shows that online social networking is adversely associated with the psychological status of Korean students, measured in terms of self-reported mental problems and suicidal thought. The bulk of previous research on the pros and cons of online social media use is based on cross-sectional data, thereby precluding causal inference. Using longitudinal data, the current research offers more conclusive evidence on the direction of causation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-376
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescence and Youth
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Online social media
  • mental health
  • multilevel analysis
  • psychological well-being
  • school environment
  • suicidal thought

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