Problematic social media use: associations with health complaints among adolescents



Objective. Problematic Social Media Use (PSMU) has an addictive potential for young
users. The aim of this study was to show the prevalence of PSMU across Italian regions
and its association with health complaints.
Materials and methods. Data are gathered from the Italian 2018 Health Behaviour in
School-aged Children survey using a representative sample of Italian adolescents aged
11, 13 and 15 years (50.6% males). Participants completed self-administered questionnaires
assessing PSMU and health complaints.
Results. PSMU affects 8.9% adolescents in Italy and the prevalence is quite consistent
across regions. 13-year-olds girls showed the highest percentage of PSMU (13%). Problematic
users of social media are more likely to report multiple somatic (OR = 1.84 [95%
CI 1.82-1.85]) and psychological (OR = 2.60 [95% CI 2.58-2.63]) symptoms.
Conclusions. PSMU represents a widespread problem in Italy. National prevention interventions
are needed in order to promote a positive use of social media.

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Claudia Marino - University of Padova

Michela Lenzi

Natale Canale

Daniela Pierannunzio

Paola Dalmasso

Alberto Borraccino

Nazario Cappello

Patrizia Lemma

Alessio Vieno

2018 HBSC-Italia Group*

How to Cite
Marino, C., Lenzi, M. ., Canale, N. ., Pierannunzio, D., Dalmasso, P. ., Borraccino, A. ., … 2018 HBSC-Italia Group*. (2020). Problematic social media use: associations with health complaints among adolescents. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 56(4), 514–521. Retrieved from
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