How does the use of social media and smartphones link with youth mental health?: Study update

Welcome to the 3S-YP Study’s first blog post! Whether you are taking part in the study, know someone who is, or are just interested, this is your opportunity to hear how the study is going.

Being able to instantly connect with other people using a pocket size computer was the stuff of science fiction even a generation ago. However, in today’s constantly evolving digital world, social media and smartphones have become a part of everyday life for teenagers and young adults. These technologies have become an integral tool for communication in the modern age and we know that they present a number of benefits as well as risks. However, we still do not know enough about how using social media and smartphones is linked with changes in our mental health and wellbeing.

As members of the 3S-YP Study team we are interested in better understanding how social media and smartphone use are associated with changes in mental health and wellbeing over time. The information from this study will help us learn more about when and what type of support may be most useful to young people experiencing difficulties.

We are working with the UK’s leading youth mental health charity, YoungMinds. Together we have run workshops and have young people in our wider team to ensure that the views of young people are at the heart of why and how we are doing our research. You can read more about our partnership here.

We currently have over 250 young people taking part in the 3S-YP Study and recently had our first participants completing the study! A huge thank you to everyone involved and most importantly to the young people whose contributions make this research possible.

We have had a great response to the study from young people and the parents and carers of those in the younger age group. From the feedback that we have received, being too busy and having a difficult time with mental health are two of the reasons that meant it wasn’t a good time for some young people to take part. And there’s still time to take part in the 3S-YP study, as we will be inviting people to take part through the summer and into the autumn. As we come to the end of this academic year, a lot of young people have been busy taking exams. YoungMinds have a brilliant guide to self-care and finding what works for you which you can read here.

We have recently started inviting some of the young people who have finished in the study to tell us what it was like taking part in this study and how they feel about providing their data for research. This will help us understand how we can improve the way we are working with young people in our research.

If you would like to stay up to date with all things 3S-YP, you can follow us on Twitter @3s_yp and Instagram @3syp_kcl and stay tuned for future blog posts!

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like more information about the study, please contact us by email at [email protected].