Suicidality and self-injurious behavior among adolescent social media users at psychiatric hospitalization

Reem M.A. Shafi, Paul A. Nakonezny, Magdalena Romanowicz, Aiswarya L. Nandakumar, Laura Suarez, Paul E. Croarkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background The current study sought to examine the relationship between documented social media use and suicidality and self-injurious behaviors in adolescents at the time of psychiatric hospitalization. Methods We retrospectively identified adolescents (aged 12-17Â years) hospitalized on an inpatient psychiatric unit during 1Â year. Abstracted information included documented social media use, demographic variables, documented self-injurious behaviors, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Suicide Status Form-II. Logistic regression was implemented to examine the effect of social media use on the risk of self-injurious behaviors and suicidality. Results Fifty-six adolescents who used social media were identified and matched with 56 non-social media users. Those with reported social media use had significantly greater odds of self-injurious behaviors at admission (odds ratio, 2.55; 95% confidence intervals, 1.17-5.71; PÂ =Â.02) vs youth without reported social media use. Adolescents with reported social media use also had greater odds of increased suicidal ideation and suicide risk than those with no reported use, but these relationships were not statistically significant. Conclusions Social media use in adolescents with a psychiatric admission may be associated with the risk of self-injurious behaviors and could be a marker of impulsivity. Further work should guide the assessment of social media use as part of a routine adolescent psychiatric history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Adolescent
  • impulsivity
  • inpatient psychiatry
  • self-injurious behavior
  • social media
  • suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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