PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development
Phillip April 16, 2024 No Comments

PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development

PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development


Capella University

PSY FPX 5201 Integrative Project for Master’s Degree in Psychology

Prof. Name


Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development

The use of media is increasing daily and while it can be entertaining and useful, it can also be damaging to one’s social development. In this research paper, the researchers aimed to understand and test the impact of social media on adolescence, exploring ways in which it affects social development. Social development involves learning to interact with others and forming relationships, but media use can hinder face-to-face social development due to various reasons. For instance, excessive nighttime social media use has been linked to poor sleep quality, higher levels of anxiety, and depression, leading adolescents to withdraw and impacting their self-esteem (Keles et al., 2019).

As adolescents grow, they tend to spend less time with their families and more time with peers, developing stronger relationships outside the family circle, which may include adult mentors (Boer et al., 2020). However, adolescents are highly sensitive to acceptance and rejection on social media, which, coupled with their emotional sensitivity and still-developing cognitive control, makes them reactive to emotion-arousing media (Back et al., 2018). Additionally, research on adolescents’ energy levels has identified gaps in understanding, indicating the need for further investigation (Forrestal, 2010).

Throughout history, media has offered numerous advantages, but recent studies have highlighted both positive and negative effects of social media use on psychological well-being. While it can facilitate social connections, excessive use can lead to smartphone addiction and social isolation (Ostic et al., 2021). Despite historical psychologists like Sigmund Freud not having experienced social media, contemporary theories like Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and media theory provide insights into how media affects child development (Guy-Evans, 2020).

PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development

Current challenges faced by adolescents regarding social media use include distractions, sleep disruption, exposure to bullying and rumors, unrealistic views of others’ lives, and peer pressure (Vasanth et al., 2021). Cyberbullying, in particular, has been linked to adverse outcomes such as suicide attempts, highlighting the detrimental impact of media on social development (Hinduja et al., 2010).

Moreover, peer pressure and unrealistic portrayals on social media contribute to adolescents’ challenges. Unrealistic standards set by influencers and peers can lead to social comparison and pressure to conform, impacting self-esteem and social development (Allen & Antonishak, 2008).

Research suggests that adolescents use media for various reasons, including staying informed, entertainment, and socializing (Madge et al., 2009). Addressing adolescent media use requires supporting their social lives both online and offline, promoting self-awareness, prioritizing offline connections, and fostering positive development (Eschenbeck et al., 2018).

Despite the negative impacts, there is potential for using media to enhance social development by promoting responsible and positive media use. Encouraging adolescents to use media in constructive ways, with guidance from adults and role models, can mitigate negative effects (Tur et al., 2015).

In conclusion, while media use among adolescents can have detrimental effects on social development, understanding these impacts and implementing strategies for responsible media use can help mitigate these effects. Further research and proactive measures are needed to support adolescents in navigating media use while fostering healthy social development.


Allen, J. P., & Antonishak, J. (2008). Adolescent peer influences. Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents, 141-160.

Baldry, A. C. (2017, September 17). The impact of direct and indirect bullying on the mental and physical health of Italian youngsters. Wiley Online Library.

Barboza, G. E., Schiamberg, L. B., Oehmke, J., Korzeniewski, S. J., Post, L. A., & Heraux, C. G. (2009). Individual characteristics and the multiple contexts of adolescent bullying: An ecological perspective. Journal of youth and adolescence, 38(1), 101-121.

Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 10(1), 1-21.

PSY FPX 5201 Assessment 2 Media use in adolescents: The impact on social development

Forrestal, S. G. (2010, August 23). Energy intake misreporting among children and adolescents: a literature review. Wiley Online Library.

Guy-Evans, O. (2020). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory.

Valkenburg, P. M., Meier, A., & Beyens, I. (2022). Social media use and its impact on adolescent mental health: An umbrella review of the evidence. Current opinion in psychology, 44, 58-68