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Systematic Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00686

Problematic Social Networking Site Use and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review of Recent Large-scale Studies

  • 1University of Derby, United Kingdom
  • 2Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom

Background and Aims: Research has shown a potential association between problematic social networking sites (SNSs) use and psychiatric disorders. The primary objective of this systematic review was to identify and evaluate studies examining the association between problematic SNS use and comorbid psychiatric disorders.
Sampling and Methods: A literature search was conducted using the following databases: PsychInfo, PsycArticles, Medline, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Problematic SNS use (PSNSU) and its synonyms were included in the search. Information was extracted based on problematic SNS use and psychiatric disorders, including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, anxiety, and stress. The inclusion criteria for papers to be reviewed were (i) being published since 2014 onwards, (ii) being published in English, (iii) having population-based studies with sample sizes greater than 500 participants, (iv) having specific criteria for problematic SNS use (typically validated psychometric scales), and (v) containing empirical primary data reporting on the correlation between PSNSU and psychiatric variables. A total of nine studies met the predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Results: The findings of the systematic review demonstrated that most research has been conducted in Europe and all comprised cross-sectional survey designs. In eight (of the nine) studies, problematic SNS use was correlated with psychiatric disorder symptoms. Of the nine studies (some of which examined more than one psychiatric symptom), there was a positive association between PSNSU and depression (seven studies), anxiety (six studies), stress (two studies), ADHD (one study), and OCD (one study).
Conclusions: Overall, the studies reviewed showed associations between PSNSU and psychiatric disorder symptoms, particularly in adolescents. Most associations were found between PSNSU, depression, and anxiety.

Keywords: Social networking site use, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Depression - psychology, Anxiety, Problematic social media use, Social media addiction

Received: 08 Oct 2018; Accepted: 26 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Yasser Khazaal, Université de Genève, Switzerland

Reviewed by:

Lucia Romo, Université Paris Nanterre, France
Rita Santacroce, Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy
Giuseppe Carrà, Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Hussain and Griffiths. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Zaheer Hussain, University of Derby, Derby, United Kingdom, z.hussain@derby.ac.uk