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Social Media & Local Middle-School Girls

The Surgeon General's recent advisory on social media and teen mental health outlined some pretty concerning trends:

  • Teens who spend 3+ hours per day on social media double their risk of mental health issues including depression and anxiety

  • Social media use is correlated with poor sleep quality, reduced sleep duration, and sleep difficulties

  • Social media is particularly harmful to girls in terms of cyberbullying-related depression, body image, disordered eating behaviors, and poor sleep quality.


I wondered: are these trends true for local girls?

Each year, 7th-grade students at La Entrada take the California Healthy Kids Survey, an anonymous questionnaire related to school climate/safety, and student wellness and resiliency.

Because Las Lomitas Elementary School District is such a small community (and our results can skew with each student's input), I gathered data from several nearby school districts.

Here are the results from over 1,000 local 6th- and 7th- grade students in LLESD and our neighboring school communities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Ravenswood. (Comparable data were not available for districts serving Portola Valley, Woodside, or Redwood City.)


Don't dismay! There's so much we can do to support our students.

Please check out this Pocket Guide to Supporting Your Teen's Mental Health by local youth-led nonprofit SafeSpace. And, if you want to remember the terror and power of being a middle-school student, including how it "Only Takes One" person to interrupt bullying, I highly recommend this video.


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