Does social networking sites use predict mental health and sleep problems when prior problems and loneliness are taken into account? A population-based prospective study

P.G. van der Velden*, Ilaria Setti, Erik van der Meulen, J.W.M. Das

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    It is unclear to what extent the use of social networking sites (SNS-use) predicts mental health or sleep problems, over and above prior problems. The aim of this study is to examine the independent predictive values of SNS-use. We extracted data from the Longitudinal Internet studies for the Social Sciences panel (LISS panel), based on a random sample of Dutch residents. Using logistic and multiple regression analyses, we assessed the predictive values of SNS-use (Read, Post, Chat) among the total study sample (N = 3486), six age categories, and subgroups with low and high loneliness levels. The three types of SNS-use were significant predictors for mental health and sleep problems on the short and longer term among the total sample, but not after controlling for prior mental health and sleep problems, loneliness and demographics. Analyses among the six age groups revealed some mixed but very weak effects. Among a few age categories, more SNS-use was very associated with more sleep problems. No differences were observed within subgroups with low or high loneliness levels. We conclude that, when controlling for prior problems and loneliness, SNS-use does not or hardly predict mental health and sleep problems on the short or long term.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-209
    JournalComputers in Human Behavior
    Volume93
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Keywords

    • Social networks sites
    • Social media
    • Mental health
    • Sleep problems
    • Loneliness
    • Age

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