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Too much online time could have negative effects for girls

Monday - 9/24/2012, 7:06am  ET

WASHINGTON - As if being a teenage girl wasn't traumatic enough, a new project finds an increased online presence can lead to weight gain, moodiness and withdrawal - among other issues.

The NetGirls Project studied 1,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 16 and found prolonged exposure on the Internet could make a delicate situation worse when it comes to teen and adolescent image problems.

The issues don't go away after the teenage years, and young women typically carry the negative effects into college and beyond.

Here are 10 signs to watch for that may indicate your teen is depressed:

  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies.
  • Never spending time with friends.
  • Sleeping all the time or spending time awake in the middle of the night because she can't sleep.
  • Changes in appetite - either a loss or increase.
  • Changes in weight - either a loss or a gain.
  • Lethargy.
  • More irritable or more easily frustrated.
  • A decline in grades.
  • Not wanting to go to school.
  • Weepy, mood fluctuations.

Read more about The NetGirls Project.

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

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)