Research studies highlight online harms

Two recent studies have highlighted potential risks faced by young people who use social media and the dangers posed by e-sports gambling. Emma Lee-Potter reports

Parents, teachers and others have frequently warned that social media has a detrimental effect on our young people.

Now a study led by University College London (UCL) has found that spending hours on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp does have an impact on teenagers’ mental health by disrupting sleep and exercise and exposing them to cyber-bullying and harmful online content.

The research, which was published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health in August, analysed data from nearly 10,000 young people between 2013 and 2015. The youngsters were aged between13 and 16 and were from nearly 1,000 schools across England.

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