A Glasgow University-led study has revealed that as many as 15,000 Scottish schoolchildren are addicted to social media. 

Schoolchildren were asked nine questions about their use of social media, where it was classified as 'problematic' if they responded 'yes' to 6 or more of the questions. 

One-third (33%) of adolescents reported that they had online contact with close friends almost all the time throughout the day, which is described as 'intense' contact.

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The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) revealed that over a quarter of adolescents said they found it easier to talk online about their secrets (27%) their inner feelings (28%) and their concerns (26%) compared with face to face.

Nine per cent of children also answered mostly 'yes' when they were asked questions such as whether they felt 'bad' when they could not use social media. Fifteen-year-old girls were more likely to say that they tried to spend less time on social media, but failed and often reverted to using the platforms to escape negative feelings.

The test measures whether people are addicted to social media - and 'problematic' use indicates an addiction. 

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Lead author of the study Dr Jo Inchley, from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, said:  “These latest findings from HBSC provide a comprehensive picture of young people’s health across Scotland.

"We’ve seen significant improvements in recent years in areas such as substance use and eating behaviours. But at the same time, new challenges such as social media are increasingly impacting on how young people live their lives and these can have a significant impact on their wellbeing."

"This report helps us to better understand the challenges young people face and the areas where more support and investment is needed.”