Adolescent perspectives on mental health benefits and risks associated with TikTok use

tiktok
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

A new study examines adolescent perspectives on mental health benefits and risks associated with TikTok use. Findings from the study will be presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2022 Meeting, taking place April 21-25 in Denver.

"We conducted a focus group study to understand adolescent perspectives on mental health benefits and risks associated with TikTok use," said Bradley Kerr, MS, researcher with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "Participants often described how TikTok's algorithm may uniquely enable adolescents to connect with peers around their interests and mental health struggles. Concerns such as excessive use of TikTok and peer comparison were also mentioned. Future work should focus on understanding and balancing these possible mental health benefit and risks."

Focus groups were asked about what differentiates TikTok from other as well as and risks. The first theme was connection with TikTok content. One participant described the TikTok algorithm, "Pretty quickly it can kind of catch on to what you're interested in or what you find funny." The second theme was challenges self-regulating TikTok use. One participant shared, "I downloaded TikTok during quarantine, and I would say I was addicted to it for a while. I had to delete it off my phone because it just kind of consumed an unnecessary amount of time." The third theme was peer comparison. One participant shared that some TikTok videos "could definitely affect self-image, 'cause just unrealistic beauty standards, and really rich people, so that lifestyle's not always the most attainable." The fourth theme was mental health solidarity and competition. One participant reported, "It can be helpful in relating [to]...other people dealing with these kind of issues and kind of finding solidarity there, but on the other hand, it also can turn into competition." A minor theme was risky and harmful trends.

Adolescent perspectives on mental health benefits and risks associated with TikTok use
Table 1. Themes and illustrative quotations around adolescent perspectives on mental health benefits and risks of TikTok use. Credit: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Future studies should examine mental health consequences associated with adolescent TikTok concerns such as challenges self-regulating use, peer comparison, and unsupportive mental interactions.


Explore further

Ireland investigates TikTok over child, China data concerns

More information: Conference: www.pas-meeting.org/
Citation: Adolescent perspectives on mental health benefits and risks associated with TikTok use (2022, April 22) retrieved 30 September 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-04-adolescent-perspectives-mental-health-benefits.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
5 shares

Feedback to editors