Problematic Internet uses and depression in adolescents: A meta-analysis

Lozano-Blasco, Raquel and Cortés-Pascual, Alejandra Problematic Internet uses and depression in adolescents: A meta-analysis. Comunicar, 2020, vol. 28, n. 63, pp. 109-120. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Widespread use of the Internet in 21st century society is not risk-free. This paper studies the comorbidity of some problematic uses of Internet with depression in order to assess their correlation. With that aim, a meta-analysis of 19 samples obtained from 13 different studies (n=33,458) was carried out. The subjects of these studies are adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 years (µ=15.68) from different cultures and continents (Europe, Euro-Asia, America and Asia). The effect size obtained from the use of a random-effects model (r=0.3, p<0.000) is significant, moderate and positive, thus confirming the relation between pathologic uses of the Internet and depression. Moreover, meta-regression test results showed that 9% of the variance (R2=0.09) is associated with the male gender, while age and culture are not significant variables. The variability rate of the studies is high (I2=87.085%), as a consequence of heterogeneity rather than publication bias, as Egger’s regression test shows (1-tailed p-value=0.25; 2-tailed p-value=0.50, and ?=1.57). Therefore, the need for specific interventions in secondary education dealing with this issue is evident to ensure that it does not extend into adult life.

Spanish abstract

El uso extendido de Internet en la sociedad del siglo XXI no está exento de riesgos. El presente trabajo estudia la comorbilidad entre los usos problemáticos de Internet y la depresión con la finalidad de determinar la existencia de relación entre ambas. Para ello se ha llevado a cabo un meta-análisis, que cuenta con 19 muestras recogidas en 13 investigaciones (n=33.748), con adolescentes de entre 12 y 18 años (µ=15,68) de diferentes culturas y continentes (Europa, Euro-Asia, América y Asia). El tamaño del efecto obtenido a partir de un modelo de efectos aleatorios (r=0,3, p<0,000) es significativo, positivo y moderado confirmando la existencia de relación entre usos patológicos de Internet y depresión. Por otra parte, la meta-regresión mostró que el 9% (R2=0,09) de la varianza es explicada por el sexo masculino, mientras que la edad y la cultura no son variables significativas. La variabilidad de los estudios es elevada (I2=87,085%) siendo fruto de la heterogeneidad y no del sesgo de publicación, tal y como indicó la prueba de regresión de Egger (p-value 1 tailed=0,25; p-value 2 tailed=0,50 y ?=1,57). Se advierte la necesidad de comenzar a generar proyectos de intervención en Educación Secundaria que traten esta problemática con el objetivo de que no se extienda a la vida adulta.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Meta-analysis; adolescence; Internet; pathological use; depression; comorbidity; correlation; moderating effect; Meta-análisis; adolescencia; Internet; uso patológico; depresión; comorbilidad; correlación; efecto moderador
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 03 Apr 2020 19:56
Last modified: 03 Apr 2020 19:56


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