Webinars & Podcasts

“Mental Health Out Loud: The Mental Health Fallout from Social Media Use” [Replay & Podcast #416]

Access the replay, listen to the podcast episode (#416), and see related resources for this Q&A session originally broadcast on August 16, 2022.

Episode Description

Researchers have known for years that social media has differential effects on how young people think about themselves depending on who they are and how they use it. There is now increased public scrutiny on social media and its impact on youth wellbeing amid the mental health crisis of the last few years. In fact, Congress is gearing up now to consider the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act and the Kids Online Safety Act, both drafted in direct response to new research on social media and mental health.

Due to rejection sensitive dysphoria, emotional dysregulation, low self-esteem, and social challenges, young people with ADHD and other neurodivergent social media users may be at elevated risk for experiencing mental health repercussions.

But is all digital media use necessarily dangerous for neurodivergent youth? Could some platforms even help teens who are learning to establish friendships, for example? Could some amount or type of social media use help our kids feel connected? And what red flags should caregivers heed?

In this special Mental Health Out Loud conversation, Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., will answer these questions and many more from the ADDitude community. Topics of discussion will include the following:

  • What the research tells us about social media use and mental health among kids and teens
  • Why neurodivergent youth can face elevated risk for depression, anxiety, self-harm, and more adverse outcomes from social media use
  • How social media can be harnessed to improve a user’s social connectedness and empathy
  • What parental guidelines and conversations are associated with positive social media use, especially among teen girls
  • What red flags signal problematic social media use
  • How to establish social-media limits that improve sleep and mental-health outcomes without socially isolating youth

Listen to the Replay

Enter your email address in the box above labeled “Replay” to listen to the Q&A recording and access related resources. This event is only available in audio format.

Download or Stream the Podcast Audio

Click the play button below to listen to this episode directly in your browser, click the symbol to download to listen later, or open in your podcasts app: Apple Podcasts; Google Podcasts; Stitcher; Spotify; Amazon Music; iHeartRADIO.

More on Social Media and Mental Health


Meet the Expert Speaker

Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women and director of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab. Her research interests include technology and adolescent health, digital citizenship, innovative research methods to include overlooked and hidden populations, and how social identities (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation) affect wellbeing.

Listener Testimonials

“The whole concept of social obligations that Dr. Charmaraman spoke about was new to me. I will definitely change how I interact with my high schooler. Thank you.”

“This conversation was very timely for me. Personally, I use very little social media, so I was glad to be alerted to the ‘streaks’ trend with SnapChat.”

“The presenter touched on many real-life scenarios. This was very helpful!”


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