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How Media Effects Mental Health Research Paper
Media, Effects, Mental, Health, Research, Paper
Media is always pointed at having negative effects on mental health. Media, including social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, among others, have rapidly developed. Facebook is considered to be the largest social networking site used globally. In the past decade, media has caused various changes, especially in the way individuals interact as well as communicate.
However, it is not clear whether these changes may have an impact on the usual human characters. Previous research carried out shows that prolonged use of media may be associated with signs of depression. In addition, studies have also shown that the effects are associated with low self-esteem, and this mainly affects adolescents and children.
However, other studies differ and have shown that media does not affect negatively and no mental problems associated with the use of media. Thus, the relationship between media and mental health is controversial, and many questions have remained unanswered. Moreover, the research on this topic has experienced a lot of challenges. This paper focuses on findings regarding the association between the media and mental health issues such as internet addiction, depression signs and symptoms and low self-esteem.
Media and Signs and symptoms of depression
Various reasons suggest that media users are at risk of getting depressed. This is because there are many factors that may cause a depressed individual to increase their use or begin to use a social networking site. Among the reasons why media is associated with depressive symptoms is that it may lead to negative changes in the personality characteristics of other users. Generally, internet use affects the social relationship to the extent of affecting participation in community life.
According to a study done by Kraut et al ., 1998 shows that increased time online is associated with reduced communication with other members of the family. This may result in an increased feeling of loneliness as well as depression. Further research suggests that computer use may have various negative effects, especially on the social development of children.
This research focused on investigating possible impacts of internet browsing and other online uses such as email checking on mental health.
As a result of the development of social networks, for example, Facebook in 2004, time spent online has greatly increased. On the other hand, time on interpersonal interaction has reduced, including among the family members. However, research on the relationship between the use of various social networking sites and depression has not been properly investigated.
This is because most social networks and upgrade in the media are recent discoveries. According to a study carried out on high school population, it was found that there is a relationship between time spent on social networking sites and depressive symptoms(Pantic et al ., 2012).
However, different authors have found that media is not related to depressive symptoms especially older adolescents, for example, University students. This reaction towards media is different, and age is the main determinant (Kross et al ., 2013).
Due to differences between different authors and lack sufficient evidence, it cannot be concluded that media causes depression. Recent arguments suggest that media strengthens social ties among family members, among others. As a result of strengthened social ties, thus there is social support which is of benefit to mental health.
Media and stigma
Media contribute largely to the stigma of mental illness. This is through inaccurate and exaggerated images as well as inaccurate information about mental illnesses. Various theories such as cultivation and social learning theory have been used to describe the relationship between media and stigma of mental illness(Wahl, 1995). According to cultivation theory, individuals who spend more of their time in the television and other virtual world, may think the real world according to the images they see.
In other words, they are likely to perceive a virtual worldview of mental illness(Gerbner et al ., 2002). Social learning theory proposes that observation is also part of learning not only through direct experience. Media teaches about how to treat individuals with mental illness(Bandura et al ., 1994).
In situations where personal experience with individuals who have mental illnesses is absent, people rely on the media. Unfortunately, media identifies and shows people with mental illness as unwanted individuals in society since they are seen as violent. Thus people with mental illness are feared and avoided(Link and Cullen, 1986). Studies have shown that negative views of individuals with psychiatric disorders are proportional to time spent on media.
In most cases, television dramas show people with mental unpredictable. The media does not make it clear to the public that only a small percentage of individuals with mental illness commit crimes. In additions, crimes committed by normal people are high compared to those committed by individuals with mental illnesses(Granello and Pauley, 2000).
This, on the other hand, has resulted in the low self-esteem of individuals in the society. As defined by different by authors, self-esteem is how one values, likes and approves him or herself. Self-esteem is one of the most important factors in developing as well as maintaining mental health. Additionally, gender bias ness becomes evident, since men are shown to be having more serious disorders. Women are discriminated apparently, and men are shown to be the common gender that commits crimes.
Media and addiction
Media addiction, including internet addiction, is an upcoming phenomenon; thus, no sufficient research is done. Media addiction results in neglecting other important aspects of social functioning such as family as well as offline friends. Different studies have been carried out to show addiction disorder, especially of social networking sites(Pantic, 2014).
Research carried out by Wolniczak et al ., 2013 on the sleep quality of Facebook users showed that Facebook dependence are related to poor quality of sleep. Of great concern is whether media addiction should be considered as a mental disorder. However, it is not clear whether it is an illness by its own or is a manifestation of other disorders.
According to the Classification of Diseases and Health problems, there are various different criteria for dependence syndrome in other terms of addiction. Among the different criteria for dependence, the syndrome is a strong desire, difficulty in controlling consumption as well as difficulty in controlling the behavior. In the case where these features are evident, then a diagnosis should be made. Thus media addiction can be considered as a mental illness (World Health Organization. (2014) Dependence syndrome. www.who.int/substance_abuse/terminology/definition1/en/.)
Media is associated with various negative effects on mental health. This includes media addiction, the stigma of mental illnesses and also depression. This negative effect results to further effects in the society such as gender biasness. However, there has been a lot of controversy among different authors, whereby authors differ in opinions on the effects of media on mental health. Further research should be done to end the differences between different authors. The research should provide more evidence to prove the effects of media on mental health.
Bandura, A., Bryant, J., & Zillmann, D. (1994). Media effects: Advances in theory and research. Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communication. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 61–90.
Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N., & Shanahan, J. (2002). Growing up with television: Cultivation processes,[in:] J. Bryant, D. Zillmann (eds.), Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc.
Granello, D. H., & Pauley, P. S. (2000). Television viewing habits and their relationship to tolerance toward people with mental illness. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 22(2).
Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukophadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? American Psychologist, 53(9), 1017.
Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Demiralp, E., Park, J., Lee, D. S., Lin, N., Shablack, H., Jonides, J., & Ybarra, O. (2013). Facebook use predicts declines in subjective well-being in young adults. PloS One, 8(8), e69841.
Link, B. G., & Cullen, F. T. (1986). Contact with the mentally ill and perceptions of how dangerous they are. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 289–302.
Pantic, I. (2014). Online social networking and mental health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(10), 652–657.
Pantic, I., Damjanovic, A., Todorovic, J., Topalovic, D., Bojovic-Jovic, D., Ristic, S., & Pantic, S. (2012). Association between online social networking and depression in high school students: behavioral physiology viewpoint. Psychiatria Danubina, 24(1.), 90–93.
Wahl, O. F. (1995). Media madness: Public images of mental illness. Rutgers University Press.
Wolniczak, I., Cáceres-DelAguila, J. A., Palma-Ardiles, G., Arroyo, K. J., Solís-Visscher, R., Paredes-Yauri, S., Mego-Aquije, K., & Bernabe-Ortiz, A. (2013). Association between Facebook dependence and poor sleep quality: a study in a sample of undergraduate students in Peru. PloS One, 8(3).
World Health Organization. (2014) Dependence syndrome. www.who.int/substance_abuse/terminology/definition1/en/
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