How much time does your teen spend online? Could too much web time lead to depression—or even an increased risk of suicide?
According to a story from NatureWorldNews.com, a new study from Oxford University found contradictory results when it comes to the research on internet use.
Some studies seem to show said that internet assists lonely people to find groups that help them cope with stress. However, other research found that too much web time may actually increase the risk of self-harm in teens.
According to the latest Oxford review, moderate to severe internet addiction can increase risk of suicidal behavior in adolescents.
A related study surveyed girls who spend more time online; updating pictures, chatting and surfing. They found that they were more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and negative body image.
Oxford’s review also looked at teenagers and cyber-bullying. Researchers found in few cases online-bullying led the victim to depression and even suicidal thoughts. In England, about half of all children face bullying over the internet.
Paul Montgomery at the University of Oxford, says “We are not saying that all young people who go on the internet increase their risk of suicide or self-harm.
We are talking about vulnerable young people who are going online specifically to find out more about harming themselves or because they are considering suicide already.
Dr. Montgomery says they appear to have found a strong link between viewing such online content and an increased risk of self-harm or suicide.
If you know a young person who may be depressed or at possible risk for suicide, visit the American Psychological Association’s website at apa.org.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.