Passive and Active Social Media Use and Depressive Symptoms Among United States Adults

Cesar G. Escobar-Viera, Ariel Shensa, Nicholas Bowman, Jaime E. Sidani, Jennifer Knight, A. Everette James, Brian A. Primack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social media allows users to explore self-identity and express emotions or thoughts. Research looking into the association between social media use (SMU) and mental health outcomes, such as anxiety or depressive symptoms, have produced mixed findings. These contradictions may best be addressed by examining different patterns of SMU as they relate to depressive symptomatology. We sought to assess the independent associations between active versus passive SMU and depressive symptoms. For this, we conducted an online survey of adults 18–49 of age. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System brief depression scale. We measured active and passive SMU with previously developed items. Factor analysis was used to explore the underlying factor structure. Then, we used ordered logistic regression to assess associations between both passive and active SMU and depressive symptoms while controlling for sociodemographic covariates. Complete d
Original languageEnglish
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
StatePublished - Jul 2018


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