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“Where I Can Be Myself”: Social media and mental health in transgender and non-binary adolescents.

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Kennedy Banks

Additional Presenters:
Seth Ririe (; Allison Weston (
The current study utilizes a risk and resilience approach to examine contexts of social media use on mental health among transgender, gender non-binary and cisgender adolescents. Participants included 1,231 adolescents (ages 10-17 years old) from a national quota sample from the United States (55% of the sample identified as female, 39% as male and 6% as transgender, non-binary, or other (TGNB)). In terms of race/ethnicity, 57% identified as White, 15% as Black, 9% as Asian, .3% as American Indian/Alaska Native, 15% as Hispanic/Latin, .1% as Pacific Islander, and 3.3% as mixed or other race/ethnicity. Each completed a series of online questionnaires asking about multiple contexts around social media use (time, type of use, favorite site, social comparisons, mindfulness, taking intentional breaks, cleaning and curating feeds, problematic use, and media literacy programs at their school) and mental health (depression, emotional problems, conduct problems, and body image). There was no association between time spent on social media and any developmental outcome for adolescents in our sample. However, the context of social media use was associated with adolescent mental health, often depending on gender identity. For example, active social media use was highly protective for TGNB youth as was cleaning/curating social media feeds, compared to cisgender adolescents. However, taking intentional breaks from social media was related to worse mental health for TGNB youth, but better mental health for cisgender adolescents. Results were discussed with a focus group of gender diverse adolescents. Implications for youth, parents, educators, and policy makers are discussed.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #C30
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Sarah Coyne