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Academic study reveals new evidence of Facebook's negative impact on the mental health of college students

Researchers created control group by comparing colleges that had access to the platform to colleges that did not during the first two years of its existence CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study led by researchers from Tel Aviv University, MIT Sloan School of Management and Bocconi University reveals new findings about the negative impact of Facebook on the mental health of American college students. The study focuses on Facebook's first two-and-a-half years (2004-2006), when the new social network was gradually spreading through academic institutions, and it was still possible to detect its impact by comparing colleges that had access to the platform to colleges that did not. The findings found a rise in the number of students who had access to Facebook reporting severe depression and anxiety (7% and 20% respectively).
Academic study reveals new evidence of Facebook's negative impact on the mental health of college students
The study was led by Dr. Roee Levy of the School of Economics at Tel Aviv University, Prof. Alexey Makarin of MIT Sloan School of Management, and Prof. Luca Braghieri of Bocconi University. The paper is forthcoming in the academic journal American Economic Review. "Over the last fifteen years, the mental health trends of adolescents and young adults in the United States have worsened considerably," said Prof. Braghieri. "Since such worsening in trends coincided with the rise of social media, it seemed plausible to speculate that the two phenomena might be related."
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