Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-School Counseling (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Judy S. Williams

Academic Year



The topic of this project is to inform all caregivers- educators, administration, parents/guardians- including students themselves of the negative impacts social media use can have on the social-emotional development of adolescents. This project involves teenagers also known as “iGen”, their social-emotional development, appropriate use of social media, and digital citizenship. In developed countries where teenagers frequently use social media, there is a great need to be aware of the risks that can result from this usage such as poor body image, self-esteem issues, depressive symptoms, cyberbullying, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. Parents/guardians, teachers, librarians, school counselors, and school administrators who are not aware of adolescents’ use of social media, nor their time spent on social media chance the risk of harming their social-emotional development. However, if trusted adults set parental controls and guidelines for teenagers’ social media usage and help them to become knowledgeable digital citizens, then young people can avoid these negative impacts. In the same breath, social media sites can be used to support social-emotional development by creating or joining online communities as well as selecting social media platforms for teenagers who wish to connect, express, and share with others about their life events and values which fulfills their intrinsic need to belong. Adolescents can also upregulate their emotions and self-promote a healthy well-being by using positive psychology interventions with adult assistance. Furthermore, caregivers, educators, and other school members need to be aware of different social media sites, their purpose, and how they function in order to stay current. Social media has many different functions, and it simply depends on how teenagers choose to use it. Consequently, adults and adolescents need to be informed digital citizens who can help alleviate the negative impacts social media can have on adolescent social-emotional development.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 02, 2024