Maximising the positive and minimising the negative: Social media data to study youth mental health with informed consent

Daniel Leightley, Amanda Bye, Ben Carter, Kylee Trevillion, Stella Branthonne-Foster, Maria Liakata, Anthony Woods, Dennis Ougrin, Amy Orben, Tamsin Ford, Rina Dutta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Social media usage impacts upon the mental health and wellbeing of young people, yet there is not enough evidence to determine who is affected, how and to what extent. While it has widened and strengthened communication networks for many, the dangers posed to at-risk youth are serious. Social media data offers unique insights into the minute details of a user’s online life. Timely consented access to data could offer many opportunities to transform understanding of its effects on mental well-being in different contexts. However, limited data access by researchers is preventing such advances from being made. Our multidisciplinary authorship includes a lived experience adviser, academic and practising psychiatrists, and academic psychology, as well as computational, statistical, and qualitative researchers. In this Perspective article, we propose a framework to support secure and confidential access to social media platform data for research to make progress towards better public mental health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Dec 2022

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