what does a research proposal look like

what does a research proposal look like

Research Proposal on the Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

1. Introduction

Theoretical framework This study is based on an ecological model, which assumes that health is influenced by interaction between the individual and the multi-layered environment. The ecological model has been used in health promotion, to create preventive programs, and chronic disease management. According to that model, efforts to increase mental health have to take into account the social and cultural environment in which individuals and families exist. This model seems a good fit for a research concerning effects of social media on mental health, as social media has become an essential part of the social and cultural environment of today’s children and adolescents.

Statement of the problem The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of social media on the mental health of young people aged 11-18. With the increasing use of social networking, this study will inform individuals, particularly young people and parents about the effects of social networking on their mental health. It is important to lay out the impacts of social media before the targeted age group continues to engage in social networking. This is an important issue to study because mental health problems are a growing epidemic among this age group. Early intervention and prevention is the best form of action to help those who are struggling with their mental health. Determining the effects of social media on the mental health in this particular age group is important in helping to choose the best form of action to help the next generation learn to healthy habits to keep up their mental health. This issue is also important to study because mental health is still a taboo subject among youth and learning some of the factors that affect their mental health may help these individuals talk openly about these factors in the future.

2. Literature Review

The idea that health is not merely an absence of disease is well established in the field of health research, with long-term physical and mental conditions recognised as being just as important to study than anything that can be diagnostically labelled. Keyes provides a comprehensive yet simple definition of mental health, defining it on a two continua model of positive mental health and mental illness. This is significant as it deconstructs mental health into achievable levels of high-level wellness and happiness, pertaining more so to young people than a traditional health model. It has been recognised by many researchers that a young person’s mental health and wellbeing is particularly special due to the rapid changes in brain development, social circumstances, and physical changes that all coincide over a relatively short period of time. While this can be a welcome change for many, the pressure to adapt to new circumstances can be overbearing and potentially detrimental to mental health. In the context of the proposed research, a nuanced understanding of mental health is important to fully understand the potential impacts of social media.

The research question that guided this literature review was: How does social media impact on the mental health of young people? This literature review seeks to deconstruct what ‘mental health’ and ‘wellbeing’ looks like in young people, creating a foundational understanding of what it means to be healthy in youth. It then looks to investigate the multitude of ways in which social media can impact mental health, using both theoretical models of mental health and empirical evidence before moving onto potential ways to alleviate the negative impact. This literature review will draw from a range of disciplines including psychology, sociology, and public health to create a holistic view of social media and its impacts.

3. Methodology

In investigating the impact of social media on mental health, Miss Aleksandra Kovac is seeking to examine the research question: How is social media affecting the mental health of its users? This topic was chosen as mental health problems and social media use are two growing and prevalent issues in today’s society. The research aims to inform consumers, providers, and policymakers about how social media can influence the mental health and well-being of its users/adolescents, so they can make informed decisions regarding the use and regulation of social media. To investigate the topic, several types of sources will be used in the study. Academic journals and books will provide current information about trends in social media and mental health problems. Statistics will also be gathered from reputable websites such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Grey materials will be accessed to gather information provided by social media companies and others about the current trends and issues of social media use. This will involve accessing information from websites and contacting social media organizations. Using a variety of sources will provide a complete overview of the current situation and issues of social media and mental health. A comparison research method will be used to find data about the prevalence of mental health problems and trends in social media use. This will produce quantitative data that can be compared to show trends and issues in social media and mental health phenomena. Miss Kovac will aim to discover some causal relationship between the independent variable, social media use, and the dependent variable, mental health problems. Some data will be gathered about the benefits and positive use of social media. This will be used to show the comparison between positive and negative use of social media and its effect on mental health. If there are large findings showing negative effects, this could also be used to make informed suggestions about how people can alter their social media use to decrease negative outcomes.

4. Results and Analysis

Sherer and Rogers revealed the results of their research on the relation of tendencies of excessive social media use and increased anxiety and depression in students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This study proved that social media is a distraction mechanism for stress, and avoidance coping is a predictor of state anxiety. Excessive social media use has rendered itself as a form of escapism, and motivational dispositions of the individual who had experienced a stressful event heavily influenced Facebook use. These escapism behaviors resulted in greater anxiety and depression. Evidently, the results from this study were able to substantiate that impression management through self-help and interaction with close connections on social media can be a risk factor for the mental health of college students.

It seems that social media adversities and mental health implications are very prominently seen amongst the younger generation. With an increase in technology use, social media is a fast-growing form of communication and leisure. It is becoming second nature in the daily lives of people within younger age groups. Sosteric states that 90% of young adults are using social media daily. This excessive online participation is to include students with heavy workloads due to rigorous curriculum and results in near constant technology involvement as an epistemic lifestyle for students.

Researchers have conducted studies and surveys with a well laid out structure: the impact of how people perceive themselves and others through their social media profiles and posts. According to findings presented at The British Psychological Society annual conference in Birmingham (2017), it has been revealed that higher usages of social media directly relate to negative feelings, which in turn makes disorders such as depression and anxiety more present in the lives of these individuals. Shakya and Christakis conducted a 2-year (2014-2014) longitudinal study on the association of Facebook use with depressive symptoms and concluded that the more individuals use Facebook, the worse they felt one year later.

5. Conclusion and Recommendations

6.2 Recommendations Points of recommendations for universal, specific, and macro-level interventions: General Interventions: It is essential that the computer and the internet are accepted as a presence in the everyday lives of people living with depression. Ruminate et al. (2006). It is suggested that there be training for human services professionals to encourage more enrollment and acceptance of the use of the internet and the design and implementation of interpersonal psychiatric services to prevent depression and reduce suicide rates (Link et al. step I) and to help those who are already depressed.

Depression Harwood (2010) called attention to that health awareness for depression often does not lead to long-term behavior change. She recommends advertising online self-help programs and strategies and intervention design which focus on the causes due to the extent of information on the web affecting how people perceive the causes.

6.1 Conclusions Mental illness describes a gathering of issues, for example, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. There is still little measured proof to propose the connection between social and interactive media and mental disorders straightforwardly. Proactive undertakings are being taken by a few associations to help raise mindfulness about the consequences on the web, but with such widespread use, it’s hard to implement interventions to change the amount of usage. Information will be presented to health professionals, educators, and IT professionals as they are ideally set to deliver universal interventions, at both small and macro levels.

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