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Depression, psychological distress and Internet use among community-based Australian adolescents: a cross-sectional study

Hoare, Erin, Milton, Karen, Foster, Charlie and Allender, Steven 2017, Depression, psychological distress and Internet use among community-based Australian adolescents: a cross-sectional study, BMC public health, vol. 17, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4272-1.

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Title Depression, psychological distress and Internet use among community-based Australian adolescents: a cross-sectional study
Author(s) Hoare, Erin
Milton, Karen
Foster, Charlie
Allender, StevenORCID iD for Allender, Steven orcid.org/0000-0002-4842-3294
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 17
Article ID 365
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-04
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) Adolescents
Internet use
community-based
depression
psychological distress
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR
MENTAL-HEALTH
PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
GENERAL-POPULATION
MAJOR DEPRESSION
SCREEN TIME
CHILDREN
OBESITY
ASSOCIATIONS
OVERWEIGHT
Summary Background
There has been rapid increase in time spent using Internet as a platform for entertainment, socialising and information sourcing. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between duration of time spent using Internet for leisure, depressive symptoms, and psychological distress among Australian adolescents.

Methods
Depressive symptoms were indicated by the youth self-report module from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version IV criteria, and psychological distress was measured by Kessler Psychological Distress scale. Internet use was self-reported based on use on an average weekday, and an average weekend day. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the relationship between Internet use and mental health outcomes. Models were adjusted for potential confounders: age; relative level of socio-economic disadvantage, and body mass index.

Results
Adolescents were aged 11–17 years (M = 14.5 years, SD = 2.04 years). Greatest time spent using internet (≥7 h a day) was significantly associated with experiencing depressive symptoms among females (OR = 2.09, 95% CI = 1.16, 3.76, p < 0.05), and high/very high levels of psychological distress for male (OR = 2.23, 95% CI = 1.36, 3.65, p < 0.01) and female (OR = 2.38, 95% CI = 1.55, 3.67, p < 0.01) adolescents.

Conclusions

With current initiatives to improve health behaviours among adolescents to improve physical health outcomes such as overweight or obesity, it is imperative that the reciprocal relationship with mental health is known and included in such public health developments. Internet use may interact with mental health and therefore could be a modifiable risk factor to reach and improve mental health outcomes for this age group. Caution is advised in interpretation of findings, with some inconsistencies emerging from this evidence.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12889-017-4272-1
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30096198

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.