Social media use is (weakly) related to psychological distress

Samantha Stronge, Tara Mok, Anastasia Ejova, Carol Lee, Elena Zubielevitch, Kumar Yogeeswaran, Diala Hawi, Danny Osborne, Joseph Bulbulia, Chris G. Sibley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although the growing prevalence of social media usage raises concerns about its potentially negative impact on mental health and distress, research has found mixed results. This study resolves these inconsistencies by examining the association between hours of time spent on social media use and psychological distress in a sample of New Zealand adults (N = 19,075). After adjusting for demographics and time spent on various other activities (e.g., exercise, sleep, and housework), social media use correlated positively with psychological distress. Although social media use had one of the largest per-hour unit associations with psychological distress compared with time spent engaging in other habitual activities, the association was very weak. Thus, only excessive amounts of social media usage would result in practical changes in distress. These findings provide robust data from a large-scale national probability sample of adults, demonstrating that social media use is typically not a serious risk factor for psychological distress.

LanguageEnglish
Pages604-609
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Social Media
social media
Health
Psychology
Housekeeping
Sampling Studies
housework
sleep
New Zealand
Sleep
Mental Health
mental health
Demography
Research
time

Keywords

  • social media
  • time usage
  • psychological distress
  • mental well-being
  • exercise

Cite this

Stronge, S., Mok, T., Ejova, A., Lee, C., Zubielevitch, E., Yogeeswaran, K., ... Sibley, C. G. (2019). Social media use is (weakly) related to psychological distress. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 22(9), 604-609. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2019.0176
Stronge, Samantha ; Mok, Tara ; Ejova, Anastasia ; Lee, Carol ; Zubielevitch, Elena ; Yogeeswaran, Kumar ; Hawi, Diala ; Osborne, Danny ; Bulbulia, Joseph ; Sibley, Chris G. / Social media use is (weakly) related to psychological distress. In: Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. 2019 ; Vol. 22, No. 9. pp. 604-609.
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Stronge, S, Mok, T, Ejova, A, Lee, C, Zubielevitch, E, Yogeeswaran, K, Hawi, D, Osborne, D, Bulbulia, J & Sibley, CG 2019, 'Social media use is (weakly) related to psychological distress', Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 604-609. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2019.0176

Social media use is (weakly) related to psychological distress. / Stronge, Samantha; Mok, Tara; Ejova, Anastasia; Lee, Carol; Zubielevitch, Elena; Yogeeswaran, Kumar; Hawi, Diala; Osborne, Danny; Bulbulia, Joseph; Sibley, Chris G.

In: Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, Vol. 22, No. 9, 17.09.2019, p. 604-609.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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