Purpose: To evaluate the association between social networking site (SNS) use and depression in older adolescents using an experience sample method (ESM) approach.
Methods: Older adolescent university students completed an online survey containing the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 depression screen (PHQ) and a week-long ESM data collection period to assess SNS use.
Results: Participants (N = 190) included in the study were 58% female and 91% Caucasian. The mean age was 18.9 years (standard deviation = .8). Most used SNSs for either <30 minutes (n = 100, 53%) or between 30 minutes and 2 hours (n = 74, 39%); a minority of participants reported daily use of SNS >2 hours (n = 16, 8%). The mean PHQ score was 5.4 (standard deviation = 4.2). No associations were seen between SNS use and either any depression (p = .519) or moderate to severe depression (p = .470).
Conclusions: We did not find evidence supporting a relationship between SNS use and clinical depression. Counseling patients or parents regarding the risk of "Facebook Depression" may be premature.
Copyright © 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.