CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's a topic on many parents mind: the use of social media and the impact on a teen.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina followed sixth and seventh graders, and found those who habitually checked Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, showed greater sensitivity to social rewards and punishments. Meaning social media had changed their brain.
Doctor Gabrielle Roberts, a clinical psychologist at Advocate Children's Hospital, joined ABC7 to talk about what parents should know.
Dr. Roberts talked about healthy ways to enjoy social media platforms, how often the study showed kids were checking their phones and if there is an amount of time that is good for teens on social media.
Dr. Roberts' tips are:
1. Have open conversations with your children and teens about the benefits and risks of social media. Use studies like this to raise their awareness of how often they use it and how it could affect their development.
2. Encourage self-check-ins. Ask them to reflect on how they feel after being on social media.
3. Teach them healthy habits and boundaries for social media use. Make sure they're engaged in other activities outside of their phone.