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Emotional Support from Social Media and Face-to-Face Relationships: Associations with Depression Risk Among Young Adults

Shensa, A and Sidani, JE and Escobar-Viera, Cesar G. and Switzer, GE and Primack, BA and Choukas-Bradley, Sophia (2020) Emotional Support from Social Media and Face-to-Face Relationships: Associations with Depression Risk Among Young Adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 260. pp. 38-44.

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Abstract

Background. Emotional support is highly protective against poor mental health. Though several measures of emotional support exist, none specifically addresses social media (SM) as a source of emotional support. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine if SM-based emotional support is an extension of or distinct construct from face-to-face (FTF) emotional support and to assess the independent associations between each domain of emotional support and depression risk among U.S. young adults.
Methods. In March 2018, we surveyed 2,408 18–30 year olds. We assessed perceived FTF emotional support with the brief PROMIS emotional support scale and perceived SM-based emotional support using a new four-item measure. Depression risk was assessed using the PHQ-9. We performed factor analysis (FA) to determine the underlying factor structure of all items and to develop composite scales. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the independent association between each resulting emotional support scale and depression risk.
Results. FA revealed two distinct constructs. FTF emotional support was associated with 43% lower odds of depression per 1-unit increase on the 5-point scale (AOR=0.57, 95% CI=0.52-0.63). However, SM-based emotional support was significantly associated with 20% greater odds of depression per 1-unit increase on the 5-point scale (AOR=1.20, 95% CI=1.09-1.32).
Limitations. This study utilized a cross-sectional design and self-report data.
Conclusions. While FTF emotional support was associated with slightly lower odds of depression, SM-based emotional support was associated with slightly greater odds of depression. It may be valuable for clinicians treating individuals with depression to ask about sources of emotional support.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shensa, Aariel.shensa@pitt.eduARS146
Sidani, JEjes107@pitt.eduJES107
Escobar-Viera, Cesar G.escobar-viera@pitt.edu
Switzer, GEgswitzer@pitt.eduGSWITZER
Primack, BAbprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK
Choukas-Bradley, Sophiascb.1@pitt.eduSCB1
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, or Units > Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Date: 1 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Affective Disorders
Volume: 260
Page Range: pp. 38-44
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.092
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
Refereed: Yes
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 15:38
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2019 15:38
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/37718

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