Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand, Charles


Studies have shown that school involvement and the policies that they have created can impact adolescents’ mental health. Social media is one of the most widely used online platforms and a reason why school-aged children want cell-phones, tablets and computers. There are several types of social media platforms, both online, on the TV, and advertisements posted on online and on billboards. However, the lack of power over the social media world is cause for concern. If school age students have access to social media twenty-four seven, and many school districts are turning a blind eye to it, this is unacceptable. An explanation for adolescent social media dependency could be the concurrent rise in social media. In addition to being less likely to interact face-to-face, those who use social media frequently are also more likely to be involved with cyber-bullying, which has been linked to depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Bullying can also be linked to depression and anxiety and schools need to create policies to protect their students. “Bullying policies can upstream interventions that provide a foundation for downstream interventions.” In other words, policies are systems-level interventions that typically require more targeted intervention programs, practices, and services at the organizational, group, and individual levels. There are studies with information that show substance use, violent behavior, and unsafe sexual behavior are also all associated with suicidal behavior. This partially shows the relationship between bullying depressive behaviors and suicidal tendencies. Overall, mental health is a concern among our children and we need to understand why.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis