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      Association between Social Media Use and Depression among U.S. Young Adults

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          Abstract

          Background

          Social media (SM) use is increasing among U.S. young adults, and its association with mental well-being remains unclear. This study assessed the association between SM use and depression in a nationally-representative sample of young adults.

          Methods

          We surveyed 1,787 adults ages 19 to 32 about SM use and depression. Participants were recruited via random digit dialing and address-based sampling. SM use was assessed by self-reported total time per day spent on SM, visits per week, and a global frequency score based on the Pew Internet Research Questionnaire. Depression was assessed using the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Depression Scale Short Form. Chi-squared tests and ordered logistic regressions were performed with sample weights.

          Results

          The weighted sample was 50.3% female and 57.5% White. Compared to those in the lowest quartile of total time per day spent on SM, participants in the highest quartile had significantly increased odds of depression (AOR=1.66, 95% CI=1.14–2.42) after controlling for all covariates. Compared with those in the lowest quartile, individuals in the highest quartiles of SM site visits per week and those with a higher global frequency score had significantly increased odds of depression (AOR=2.74, 95% CI=1.86–4.04; AOR=3.05, 95% CI=2.03–4.59, respectively). All associations between independent variables and depression had strong, linear, dose-response trends. Results were robust to all sensitivity analyses.

          Conclusions

          SM use was significantly associated with increased depression. Given the proliferation of SM, identifying the mechanisms and direction of this association is critical for informing interventions that address SM use and depression.

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          Most cited references27

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          A cognitive-behavioral model of pathological Internet use

          R.A. Davis (2001)
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            Development of depression from preadolescence to young adulthood: Emerging gender differences in a 10-year longitudinal study.

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              Issues for DSM-V: internet addiction.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                9708816
                20612
                Depress Anxiety
                Depress Anxiety
                Depression and anxiety
                1091-4269
                1520-6394
                27 April 2016
                19 January 2016
                April 2016
                01 April 2017
                : 33
                : 4
                : 323-331
                Affiliations
                [a ]Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
                [b ]Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
                [c ]Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
                [d ]Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Author: Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., 230 McKee Place Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, bprimack@ 123456pitt.edu , 412-586-9789 (phone); 412-692-4838 (fax)
                Article
                PMC4853817 PMC4853817 4853817 nihpa749957
                10.1002/da.22466
                4853817
                26783723
                edfc7384-d9ae-45f7-83de-6f7f9e52b4a3
                History
                Categories
                Article

                Social Media,Internet,Communications Media,Depression,Young Adult

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