Facebook tied to poor mental health in teens: What parents must know

From a speech by Larry D. Rosen, PhD, California State University, Dominguez Hills, at The American Psychological Association convention August 6, 2011

Rosen has concluded from his research that social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and others may be turning your teen into a narcissistic, antisocial outcast.  Does it influence your family? 

How many hours a day to you and your family spend on social network sites? 

A few of the key points from his research:

·      Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies.  

·      Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems.

·      Teens who checked Facebook frequently got lower test grades. 

·      It’s nearly impossible to use some sort of computer program to surreptitiously monitor your child's social networking because the typical child will be able to find a workaround in a matter of minutes.

·      Rosen said. “You have to start talking about appropriate technology use early and often and build trust, so that when there is a problem, whether it is being bullied or seeing a disturbing image, your child will talk to you about it.”
Advice he offered to parents include:

·      Parents should assess their child’s activities on social networking sites, and discuss removing inappropriate content or connections to people who appear problematic.

·      Parents also need to pay attention to the online trends and the latest technologies, websites and applications children are using.  

·      “Communication is the crux of parenting. You need to talk to your kids, or rather, listen to them,” Rosen said. “The ratio of parent listen to parent talk should be at least five-to-one. Talk one minute and listen for five.”

Note from Al Menconi Ministries: 

Our focus is on helping parents and leaders understand the influence the media can have on their families, connect with, and communicate values to their children.  We must do more than simply tell our kids what to think.  We must teach them HOW TO THINK from a biblical worldview. 

For books and resources to help you connect and communicate values to your kids check out our website at: http://www.AlMenconi.com/

Al Menconi, Al Menconi Ministries, Parenting, Parenting help, Christian parenting, Christian parenting help, Parenting advice, Christian Parenting advice, Parenting tips, Christian parenting tips, Entertainment advice for parents, Entertainment advice, Christian conference speaker, Christian counselor, Keeping Kids Safe In the digital age, Keeping Kids Safe in the Internet age, The Christian Music Diet, It Doesn’t Affect Me.


  1. Al,
    I receive your email and read it often. I appreciate your insight. It is my feeling, having worked with teens for nearly 15 years as a youth pastor and now as a vice principal, that texting can create nearly the same atmosphere as online social media. Both modes of interaction extend deeply into the lives of teens and violate any traditional buffeting "space" by having unlimited 24/7 influence. Now, as the father of a preteen, cell phone usage is the battlefront. Do you know of any studies I can consult that deal specifically with texting?


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