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Social Media and Mental Illness

Social Media and Mental Illness

The increase in global internet connectivity has seen an exponential rise in the number of internet users. With the technological advances and the emergence of smartphones, social media has become the cornerstone of virtual social interactions. Various social media platforms have been designed to enhance social interactions and express individuals’ perspectives on various contemporary societal issues. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the leading social media platforms that have found considerable utility across the globe. Social media has, however, been implicated in the deterioration of mental well-being.

Research has linked social media to various mental disorders, such as depression and suicidal ideation among teenagers. However, little research work has been done to establish a specific nexus between various social media platforms and specific mental disorders. More research work is therefore needed to determine the role of social media in the pathophysiology of various social media platforms. This research paper is aimed at finding out whether social media users exhibit signs of mental illness. This paper seeks to outline a research process that is targeted at determining the signs of mental illness among social media users.


This research study draws participants across multiple demographic groups. The targeted population is adolescents and younger adults. Mental illnesses attributable to social media users have been heavily implicated among these population groups, with some literature showing as much as double the incident rates among these groups compared to the general population (Guntuku et al., 2017). This could as well be due to their vast experience and knowledge of internet and smartphone utility compared to older adults. This population will also be drawn from mixed-gender with equal proportionalities. These individuals will also be from multiple racial backgrounds, races, and educational levels.

The selection criteria for the participants will be random to avoid bias. Various social factors may introduce bias to the study and consequently lead to inaccurate findings. Unequal selection of individuals from various ethnic or racial backgrounds can lead to such inaccuracies. This is because of the variation in the level of internet knowledge and smartphone availability among these groups. Internet knowledge, for instance, is better among the white American ethnicities compared to the black and Hispanic groups (Yoon et al., 2018). These societal variations may affect the research findings and may be factored in during the selection of the participants.


This research will utilize multiple materials. Online databases are critical in this research work. PubMed and Google Scholar are examples of these online tools utilizable in this research work. Computers, cameras, pens, pencils, writing books, and tape recorders are all utilizable in this research work. All these tools are intended to be used in recording the research parameters that answer the research question.


This research will follow a sequence of actions that will culminate in the analysis of the collected data. Upon development of the research topic, a preliminary search of the literature to enable a better understanding of the topic and the requirements of the research. The required tools and materials for the research process will then be listed and located to enhance efficiency during the actual research process. Location of material and tools will also entail obtaining access to various online databases as well as the determination of keywords utilizable in these search engines. The exact sequence of the research procedure will then be written in the exact steps that will be conducted during the actual research process.

The actual research process will be initiated by obtaining formal informed consent from all the participants of the study. This informed consent should be written and should document the name of the participant as well as other details that may be suitable for the study. The significance of informed consent in maintaining an individual’s autonomy and in protecting both the individual and the researchers underpins its utility in the research process (Blease et al., 2017). Upon declaration of consent, research questionnaires that address the research question will be passed to these individuals to capture their responses on the required fields. Online or paper questionnaires may be utilized. The choice of the questionnaires to be used is dependent on the individual’s preference and choice.

The questionnaires capturing individuals’ responses will then be collected and then analyzed. The analysis should ensure that specific responses from the study subjects are captured and then used to conclude. The expected research findings are the specific signs of mental illness that may be evident in the study participants. All participants’ responses should be coded to maintain individual anonymity and confidentiality. The extrapolation of the various responses should reveal clusters of symptomatology of various mental disorders that the available literature can confirm.


This research will utilize the quantitative experimental research design. Quantitative experimental design is a type of research design that establishes the cause-effect relationships between research variables that make up a study (Williams & McGonagle, 2015). This quantitative design is targeted at finding out the cause-effect relationships between mental disorders symptomatology and social media usage. This experimental design begins with the elucidation of the exact symptoms of various mental disorders that social media users anticipate. This information can be obtained from literature through various databases such as PubMed. Questionnaires were then used to draw information from the preselected research candidates. This information is then analyzed and used to draw a conclusion that is in concert with the research question.


Social media has been implicated in various mental disorders. The elucidation of the various signs that social media users present can be done through a research study. The research process that is targeted at establishing the various signs of mental illnesses among social media users draws suitable participants who are consumers of social media. Various materials are also utilizable in this process. Computers are an example of these materials. The research process aimed at answering the research question should be sequential and should be specific to the various anticipated signs of mental disorders. The research process will utilize questionnaires and quantitative experimental design.


Blease, C., Kelley, J., & Trachsel, M. (2017). Informed Consent in Psychotherapy: Implications of Evidence-Based Practice. Journal Of Contemporary Psychotherapy48(2), 69-78.

Guntuku, S., Yaden, D., Kern, M., Ungar, L., & Eichstaedt, J. (2017). Detecting depression and mental illness on social media: an integrative review. Current Opinion In Behavioral Sciences18, 43-49.

Williams, L., & McGonagle, A. (2015). Four Research Designs and a Comprehensive Analysis Strategy for Investigating Common Method Variance with Self-Report Measures Using Latent Variables. Journal Of Business And Psychology31(3), 339-359.

Yoon, H., Jang, Y., Vaughan, P., & Garcia, M. (2018). Older Adults’ Internet Use for Health Information: Digital Divide by Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status. Journal Of Applied Gerontology39(1), 105-110.


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For this assignment, revise the Methods from the Research Report in PSY-452. You are required to keep the following sections: participants, materials/instruments/apparatuses, procedures, and design. As you make revisions to the Methods, make sure to include the following information in each section:

Social Media and Mental Illness

Social Media and Mental Illness


Introduction paragraph: Describe the need for additional research on your topic, which you found and pointed to at the end of the literature review. State the purpose of your study in a problem statement or hypothesis. Finally, write a thesis statement that describes what the purpose of this section of the paper is: to present the methods, including participants, materials, procedures, and design, that will be used to conduct the study.
Participants: In this section, you are only to focus on presenting the demographic of those who can participate in your study. You will also present any excluding factors that are not implied when stating who can participate. Be specific about any factors that would be included in the study (i.e. age, gender, race/ethnicity, SES, education level, etc.). Include how many participants you will need to conduct the study. Your sample size should be based on how you plan to generalize the results. In other words, to whom would the results be applied?
Materials/Instruments/Apparatuses: List all materials you will need to conduct your study. Do not discuss how they will be used; state what you need (i.e. tables, chairs, a room, pencils, surveys, a computer to create surveys, send them out and store the data, etc.)
Procedures: Make sure this section is written in detail. You will begin by providing informed consent and writing detailed directions that you will follow (in paragraph format) to conduct this study. It should be so clearly written that another researcher could replicate your study.
Design: Describe the design of your study (descriptive, correlational, qualitative, quantitative and experimental). Also, describe how participants are assigned to groups if applicable (i.e. within/between).
Conclusion paragraph: Summarize the main points from the whole research proposal.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

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