2020 Emerging Scholar Best Article Award

New Content ItemThe editors of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence have named Anna Vannucci as the 2020 recipient of its Emerging Scholar Best Article Award for her article entitled “Social Media Use Subgroups Differentially Predict Psychosocial Well-Being During Early Adolescence”. Anna Vannucci is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. At Columbia, she is a member of the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, directed by Professor Nim Tottenham. 

She is interested in understanding how neural and emotional development processes link early life experiences to risk and resilience for psychopathology across childhood and adolescence. She also seeks to examine how the interplay between early life experiences and neural development influences daily emotional processes in the natural environment. Her co-author was Christine McCauley Ohannessian who is the incoming Department Chair/Professor in the Department of Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University.

Their longitudinal study examined how social media use patterns relate to psychological and social functioning over time during early adolescence. They identified subgroups of early adolescents based on their social media use and examined whether these subgroups predicted psychosocial functioning. Adolescents (N = 1205; 11–14 years; 51% female; 51% white) completed surveys at baseline and a six-month follow-up. Three social media use subgroups emerged at baseline: high overall social media use (8%); high Instagram/Snapchat use (53%); and low overall social media use (39%). 

The high social media use subgroup predicted more depressive symptoms, panic disorder symptoms, delinquent behaviors, family conflict, as well as less family and friend support, than the high-Instagram/Snapchat and low social media use subgroups. The high Instagram/Snapchat use subgroup predicted more delinquent behaviors and school avoidance than the low social media use subgroup, but also more close friendship competence and friend support as compared to both the high social media use and low social media use subgroups. They concluded that social media use patterns appear to differentially predict psychosocial adjustment during early adolescence, with high social media use being the most problematic and patterns of high Instagram/Snapchat use and low social media use having distinct developmental tradeoffs.

The journal’s editors view receiving the award as a considerably distinctive accomplishment. The journal publishes 12 issues per year, each typically containing about 16 manuscripts. In addition, it is notable that, every year, fewer and fewer first authors are emerging scholars. Although fewer emerging scholars qualify to be considered, this shift in authorship has not reduced the competitiveness of the award. In fact, these developments actually make the process even more competitive for emerging scholars, as they have increased competition to get published in the first place.

The Journal of Youth and Adolescence provides a single, high-level medium of communication for psychologists, psychiatrists, biologists, criminologists, educators, and professionals in many other allied disciplines who address the subject of youth and adolescence.

Read the winning article Social Media Use Subgroups Differentially Predict Psychosocial Well-Being During Early Adolescence.