Merrill Discusses the Association Between Social Media Use, Personality Structure and Depression

Renae Merrill
University Relations

Renae Merrill

This month's Short Talks from the Hill features Renae Merrill, a doctoral student in the Public Policy Program at the U of A. Merrill recently co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports that analyzed the association between social media use, personality structure and the development of depression.

Merrill's research examines the intersection of social media use and mental health. Through her work, she hopes to address the negative impact social media has on young people, increase awareness about the issues surrounding it and help lay a foundation for creating policies that help vulnerable users.

"We currently know that previous studies have linked the development of depression with numerous factors, but no study, to our knowledge, has really looked at how personality traits may interact with social media use and depression," Merrill says in the podcast. "This new study addressed these important research questions, and we found that young adults who used more social media were significantly more likely to develop depression within six months regardless of their personality type."

You can listen to the Merrill podcast — or any previous Short Talks programming — wherever you get your podcasts or by clicking on the link above. For more information, please visit Arkansas Research, the home of research and economic development news at the U of A.

Thank you for listening!


Renae Merrill, doctoral student
Public Policy Program

Hardin Young, assistant director of research communications
University Relations


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