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Smartphone interactions and mental well-being in young adults: A longitudinal study based on objective high-resolution smartphone data.

Authors
  • Dissing, Agnete Skovlund1, 2
  • Hulvej Rod, Naja2, 3
  • Gerds, Thomas A4
  • Lund, Rikke1, 5
  • 1 Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 2 Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 3 Copenhagen Stress Research Centre, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 4 Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 5 Center for Healthy Aging, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Scandinavian journal of public health
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
49
Issue
3
Pages
325–332
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1403494820920418
PMID: 32536319
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Aims: To investigate the effects of objectively measured smartphone interactions on indicators of mental well-being among men and women in a population of young adults. Methods: A total of 816 young adults (mean±SD age 21.6±2.6 years; 77% men) from the Copenhagen Network Study were followed with objective recordings of smartphone interactions from calls, texts and social media. Participants self-reported on loneliness, depressive symptoms and disturbed sleep at baseline and in a four-month (interquartile range 75-163 days) follow-up survey. Multiple linear regression was used to analyse the association between smartphone interactions and mental well-being separately for men and women. Results: A higher number of smartphone interactions was associated with lower levels of loneliness at baseline and the same pattern appeared for depressive symptoms, although this was less pronounced. A high level of smartphone interaction was associated with lower levels of disturbed sleep for men, but not for women. In follow-up analyses, a high versus low level of smartphone interaction was associated with an increase in loneliness and depressive symptoms over time for women, but not for men. Conclusions: Smartphone interactions are related to better mental well-being, which may be attributed to the beneficial effects of an underlying social network. Over time, accommodating a large network via smartphone communication might, however, have negative effects on mental well-being for women.

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