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Study: Depression, Facebook not linked

Friday - 7/13/2012, 7:57am  ET

Saraya Wintersmith, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON - First came word that too much time on Facebook could lead to depression. Now comes word that it doesn't.

A new study from the University of Wisconsin suggests that social media sites do not cause depression in young adults. The report refutes an earlier study from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Researchers surveyed 190 students between the ages of 18 and 23. For one week, participants received random text messages that asked about their Internet activity. They also completed a depression screening questionnaire.

The study found that even though participants were on Facebook more than half the time they were online, there was no evidence of a link between social media use and clinical depression.

So what do the new findings mean for parents whose children are on the Internet?

"While the amount of time on Facebook is not associated with depression, we encourage parents to be active role models and teachers," researcher Megan Moreno tells Yahoo News.

The study was published in the "Journal of Adolescent Health."

WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this story. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)