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Sophia Choukas-Bradley served on a panel that made recommendations for adolescent social media use

A bronze Panther statue

Sophia Choukas-Bradley, assistant professor of psychology in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, served on an American Psychological Association presidential panel that created the first advisory of its kind for adolescent social media use.

The recommendations, which were endorsed by the U.S. surgeon general, note that platforms can promote healthy socialization, but their use should be preceded by training in social media literacy to ensure youth have skills that will maximize the chances for balanced, safe and meaningful experiences.

Along with its 10 recommendations, the full report is careful to note that, given the publicly available research, it is not possible to determine if social media is the cause of harmful impacts on youth. In addition, there have been relatively few studies conducted with youth from racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, socioeconomic or differently abled populations, or youth with chronic developmental or health conditions. The panel also called for “a substantial investment in research funding” and access to more data, including data from tech companies.

At Pitt, Choukas-Bradley is the director and principal investigator for the Teen and Young Adult Lab, which studies interpersonal and sociocultural influences on adolescent mental health, with an emphasis on gender, sexuality, social media use, body image, LGBTQ+ youth and intersectionality.