Public Health Implications of Social Media on Adolescent Health Behaviors: Upstream Approaches to Prevention Strategies

Main Article Content

Joseph Donnelly Elena Saldutti


This commentary provides a comprehensive overview of the influence of social media on the health and well-being of adolescents, focusing on emotional/mental health, self-esteem, alcohol and drug use, peer pressure, and both negative and positive influences. It highlights concerns about the potential negative impact of social media, including increased levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness, as well as the impact on self- esteem through seeking validation and unrealistic comparisons. Furthermore, it discusses how social media exposes adolescents to content promoting alcohol and drug use and amplifies peer pressure, leading to potential substance abuse and negative decision-making. Despite these drawbacks, the abstract acknowledges the positive aspects of social media, such as providing social support, educational resources, and mental health awareness. It emphasizes that social media can be leveraged in the high school classroom to promote healthy behaviors. Strategies for responsible social media use, critical thinking skills, digital literacy, cyberbullying prevention, and content creation are suggested as ways to navigate the online world safely and foster positive online interactions. By understanding both the negative and positive impacts of social media, collectively we can guide adolescents in using social media in a way that promotes resilience, well-being, and healthy habits. Employing strategies that harness the positive aspects of social media, educators, parents, and society can play a pivotal role in helping adolescents navigate the digital landscape, promoting healthy behaviors, and fostering resilience in the face of online challenges.

Keywords: Public Health, Social Media, Health Behaviors, Approaches to Prevention, Prevention Strategies, Public Health Implications of Social Media

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How to Cite
DONNELLY, Joseph; SALDUTTI, Elena. Public Health Implications of Social Media on Adolescent Health Behaviors: Upstream Approaches to Prevention Strategies. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, jan. 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 03 mar. 2024. doi:
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