social media, social network, mental health, depression, anxiety, longitudinal


Many studies have found a link between time spent using social media and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. However, the existing research is plagued by cross-sectional research and lacks analytic techniques examining individual change over time. The current research involves an 8-year longitudinal study examining the association between time spent using social media and depression and anxiety at the intra-individual level. Participants included 500 adolescents who completed once-yearly questionnaires between the ages of 13 and 20. Results revealed that increased time spent on social media was not associated with increased mental health issues across development when examined at the individual level. Hopefully these results can move the field of research beyond its past focus on screen time.

Original Publication Citation

Sarah M. Coyne, Adam A. Rogers, Jessica D. Zurcher, Laura Stockdale, McCall Booth, Does time spent using social media impact mental health?: An eight year longitudinal study, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 104, 2020, 106160.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Computers in Human Behavior




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor