Teens and Facebook Study Notes Psychological Consequences

August 8, 2011 Updated: August 8, 2011

A new study from California State University, Dominguez Hills released Monday found that spending too much time on Facebook may lead people to suffer psychologically, according to a release from the American Psychological Association.

In teens who were frequent Facebook users, narcissism was found to be more common. In a slightly older Facebook-focused demographic, young adults, antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies manifested.

Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor at the university, presented the findings on Aug. 6 at a plenary session titled “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids.”

Rosen had his department observe 300 teens with access to social media sites. His department also obtained data from 1,000 surveys given to urban teenagers.

There was an increased number of school absences for teens who “overdose” on technology including Facebook, the study said. Teens also increased their chances of developing stomach aches, sleeping problems, anxiety, as well as depression.

Also, the study found that teens displayed worse reading retention and lower grades when they checked Facebook during a 15-minute experimental period.

"While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives," Rosen stated.

He said that there were some positive aspects to using Facebook, including the development of social skills in introverted children.

Also young adults can show “virtual empathy” to their online friends, the study noted. “Social networking can provide tools for teaching in compelling ways that engage young students,” it added.