An exploratory study of clinical and physiological correlates of problematic social media use in adolescents

Reem M.A. Shafi, Paul A. Nakonezny, Keith A. Miller, Jinal Desai, Ammar G. Almorsy, Anna N. Ligezka, Brooke A. Morath, Magdalena Romanowicz, Paul E. Croarkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior validation studies of the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS) demonstrate its utility for identifying problematic social media use in adolescents. There are knowledge gaps regarding the potential clinical and physiological underpinnings of problematic social media use in adolescents. This cross-sectional, single-visit study examined a sample of depressed (n = 30) and healthy (n = 30) adolescents who underwent clinical assessments of depressive symptom severity, bullying, cyberbullying, self-esteem, salivary measures of stress (cortisol and α-amylase) to identify correlates with adolescent and parental reports of the BSMAS. LASSO-penalized multiple linear regression models were implemented. With respect to the adolescent BSMAS scores in all subjects, the risk of problematic social media increased as depressive symptom severity increased. Depressed female adolescents appeared to have a greater risk. Based on parental BSMAS scores, depression status, depressive symptom severity, cyberbullying score, and salivary cortisol significantly predicted problematic social media use. For the depressed sample, the risk of problematic social media use increased as salivary cortisol increased. No significant predictors of problematic social media usage emerged in the healthy control sample. These preliminary results provide novel insights into clinical and physiological characteristics of problematic social media use in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114020
JournalPsychiatry research
Volume302
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Adolescent
  • Cortisol
  • Problematic social media use
  • Social media
  • α-amylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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