Researchers found Teens who frequently checked social media showed an increasing sensitivity to peer feedback,
The study conducted by the University of North Carolina performed sequential brain scans of middle schoolers between the ages of 12 and 15, a period of especially rapid brain development.
The researchers found that children who habitually checked their social media feeds at around age 12 showed a distinct trajectory, with their sensitivity to social rewards from peers heightening over time. Teenagers with less engagement in social media followed the opposite path, with a declining interest in social rewards.
These results suggest that habitual checking of social media in early adolescence may be longitudinally associated with changes in neural sensitivity to anticipation of social rewards and punishments, which could have implications for psychological adjustment.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, is among the first attempts to capture changes to brain function correlated with social media use over a period of years.
CyberBeat is a grassroots initiative from a team of producers and subject matter experts, driven out of frustration at the lack of media coverage, responding to an urgent need to provide a clear, concise, informative and educational approach to the growing fields of Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy.
If you have a story of interest, a comment, a concern or if you'd just like to say Hi, please contact us
We couldn't do this without the support of our sponsors and contributors.