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The impact on family functioning of social media use by depressed adolescents: a qualitative analysis of the family options study

Lewis, Andrew J., Knight, Tess, Germanov, Galit, Benstead, Michelle Lisa, Joseph, Claire Ingrid and Poole, Lucinda 2015, The impact on family functioning of social media use by depressed adolescents: a qualitative analysis of the family options study, Frontiers in psychiatry, vol. 6, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00131.

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Title The impact on family functioning of social media use by depressed adolescents: a qualitative analysis of the family options study
Author(s) Lewis, Andrew J.
Knight, Tess
Germanov, Galit
Benstead, Michelle Lisa
Joseph, Claire Ingrid
Poole, Lucinda
Journal name Frontiers in psychiatry
Volume number 6
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2015-09
ISSN 1664-0640
Keyword(s) adolescent mental health
depression
family based intervention
parenting
social media
Summary BACKGROUND: Adolescent depression is a prevalent mental health problem, which can have a major impact on family cohesion. In such circumstances, excessive use of the Internet by adolescents may exacerbate family conflict and lack of cohesion. The current study aims to explore these patterns within an intervention study for depressed adolescents.

METHOD: The current study draws upon data collected from parents within the family options randomized controlled trial that examined family based interventions for adolescent depression (12-18 years old) in Melbourne, Australia (2012-2014). Inclusion in the trial required adolescents to meet diagnostic criteria for a major depressive disorder via the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Childhood Disorders. The transcripts of sessions were examined using qualitative thematic analysis. The transcribed sessions consisted of 56 h of recordings in total from 39 parents who took part in the interventions.

RESULTS: The thematic analysis explored parental perceptions of their adolescent's use of social media (SM) and access to Internet content, focusing on the possible relationship between adolescent Internet use and the adolescent's depressive disorder. Two overarching themes emerged as follows: the sense of loss of parental control over the family environment and parents' perceived inability to protect their adolescent from material encountered on the Internet and social interactions via SM.

CONCLUSION: Parents within the context of family based treatments felt that prolonged exposure to SM exposed their already vulnerable child to additional stressors and risks. The thematic analysis uncovered a sense of parental despair and lack of control, which is consistent with their perception of SM and the Internet as relentless and threatening to their parental authority and family cohesion.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00131
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080302

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.