Yalda T. Uhls, Nicole B. Ellison, and Kaveri Subrahmanyam


In 2015, American adolescents aged 13 to 18 years reported using social media 1 hour and 11 minutes a day, 7 days a week. Social media are used for a variety of activities, including sharing information, interacting with peers, and developing a coherent identity. In this review of the research, we examine how social media are intertwined with adolescent development and assess both the costs and benefits of adolescent social media use. We include suggestions for further research and recommendations for clinicians, policy makers, and educators.

This article was published in a special 2017 supplement of Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The supplement, “Children, Adolescents and Screens: What We Know and What We Need To Learn,” was produced by Children and Screens and includes the contributions of more than 130 interdisciplinary authors across 22 papers. See a complete list of articles included in the supplement.

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