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Social Media, Psychological Harm and Violence amongst Young People
Social Finance was commissioned by West Yorkshire VRU in November 2021 in order to understand how social media use relates to violence and psychological harms among young people in West Yorkshire, and what the key opportunities for harm mitigation are.
The research found that more than 2/3 of young people who use social media view upsetting content on it. In addition, most young people experience poorer mental health as a result of distressing content on social media. Also, in some cases, harassment and abuse on social media can lead to low level violence and conflict, such a school fights and in rare cases is associated with serious violence.
The research recommended that trauma-informed education-based support is developed and co-designed with young people to ensure it meets their needs.