Real-life closeness of social media contacts and depressive symptoms among university students

Ariel Shensa, Jaime E. Sidani, César G. Escobar-Viera, Kar Hai Chu, Nicholas D. Bowman, Jennifer M. Knight, Brian A. Primack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine the association between degree of real-life closeness of social media (SM) contacts and depressive symptoms. Participants: Students ages 18–30 (N = 1124) were recruited in August 2016. Methods: Participants completed an online survey assessing SM use and depression. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess associations between real-life closeness of SM contacts and depressive symptoms. Results: After controlling for covariates, each 10% increase in the proportion of SM friends with whom participants had no face-to-face relationship was associated with a 9% increase in odds of depressive symptoms (AOR = 1.09; 95% CI = 1.05–1.13). However, each 10% increase in the proportion of SM friends with whom participants had a close face-to-face relationship was associated with a 7% decrease in depressive symptoms (AOR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.89–0.97). Conclusions: Having no in-person relationship with SM contacts is associated with increased depressive symptoms; however, having close in-person relationships with SM contacts is associated with decreased depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-753
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume66
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 17 2018

Keywords

  • Depression
  • PROMIS
  • friendship
  • social media
  • university students
  • young adults

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