Different types of Internet use, depression, and social anxiety: the role of perceived friendship quality

J Adolesc. 2009 Aug;32(4):819-33. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.10.011. Epub 2008 Nov 22.


The current study examined the longitudinal associations of time spent on Internet activities for communication purposes (i.e., IM-ing) versus time spent on Internet activities for non-communication purposes (i.e., surfing) with depression and social anxiety, as well as the moderating role of perceived friendship quality in these associations. Questionnaire data were gathered from 307 Dutch middle adolescents (average age 15 years) on two waves with a one-year interval. For adolescents who perceive low friendship quality, Internet use for communication purposes predicted less depression, whereas Internet use for non-communication purposes predicted more depression and more social anxiety. These results support social compensation effects of IM-ing on depression and poor-get-poorer effects of surfing on depression and social anxiety, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Friends*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Socialization*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires