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Moderate Facebook use may boost happiness in autistic adults

IANS  |  New York 

Adults with spectrum disorder who use in moderation tend to be happier than those who do not, finds a new study.

The study showed that in moderation may also enhance their well-being as well as act as a protective factor against co-occurring psychiatric conditions like

However, the finding could not be generalised to overall use of social media, because the same was not true of those who used

The ability to interact with others on Facebook, instead of in more challenging face-to-face interactions may help protect these individuals against mental issues associated with spectrum disorder such as depression, said researchers including from the in

Face-to-face social interactions pose particular difficulties for people with because of the difficulty in understanding non-verbal communication, decoding thoughts and feelings, and responding quickly.

Although decreased interest in social interactions is diagnostic of autism, a growing body of research indicates that many people with autism desire friendships and experience loneliness.

may offer a platform for social connections that alleviate these needs in those with autism, by offering more time to think about responses and use of verbal text and emoticons, the researchers noted.

The results appear in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

For the study, the team enrolled a small population of 106 participants with autism.

Participants used Facebook, Twitter, on average 2.3 hours a day, with 4.5 average hours of combined use.

Over 50 per cent participants who used Facebook, were happier than those who did not.

Moreover, while happiness and use increased together up to a certain point, the beneficial effect of use then waned, the researchers said.

Future research is needed to examine the effects of Facebook use on symptoms of and anxiety common in this population, the researchers said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 15:26 IST