Adolescent girls’ academic support-seeking, depression, and anxiety: the mediating role of digital support-seeking

Erin Mackenzie, Anne McMaugh, Penny Van Bergen, Roberto H. Parada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


This study explored how seeking support from friends and parents and informal digital sources are related to anxiety and depression in adolescent girls.

Early and middle adolescent girls (N = 186) were presented with four vignettes of academic stressors; for each scenario, they rated their likelihood of seeking support from parents, friends, or digital sources. Depression and anxiety symptoms were measured using the youth version of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale. Alternate models were tested using Structural Equation Modelling.

Digital support seeking mediated the relationships between seeking support from parents and friends and anxiety and depression. Seeking support from parents was negatively related to digital support seeking, which in turn was positively related to depression and anxiety. In contrast, seeking support from friends was positively related to digital support seeking.

These findings suggest that informal digital support seeking may be considered a problematic way of coping with academic stress for adolescent girls, while seeking support from parents can be considered a protective factor due to its negative relationship with digital support-seeking.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2170279
Pages (from-to)e2170279-1-e2170279-8
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • digital support seeking
  • coping
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • academic stress


Dive into the research topics of 'Adolescent girls’ academic support-seeking, depression, and anxiety: the mediating role of digital support-seeking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this