Impact of social media on the health of children and young people

J Paediatr Child Health. 2015 Dec;51(12):1152-7. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13023. Epub 2015 Nov 26.


This paper reviews the literature on the impact of social media on the health of children and young people. Relevant papers were identified from Medline, Embase and PsycINFO databases. The studies identified that the health impact of social media on children and young people was greatest on mental health and specifically in the areas of self-esteem and well-being, with related issues around cyberbullying and 'Facebook Depression', with an association between the use of social media and self-esteem and body image. However, it is difficult to determine the cause and effect, which is likely to be related to the nature of the young person. There is little work on the impact of social media on younger children. More research is needed to identify those most at risk of harm from social media and risk mitigation strategies to assist health-care professionals to provide essential education for parents and young people.

Keywords: adolescent; behavioural; general paediatrics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Health*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Media*