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Computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults - a prospective cohort study

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Sara Thomée
Annika Härenstam
Mats Hagberg
Publicerad i Bmc Psychiatry
Volym 12
ISSN 1471-244X
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa
Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244x-12-176
https://gup-server.ub.gu.se/v1/asse...
Ämnesord problematic internet use, communication technology ict, gender-differences, mental-disorders, addiction, health, information, prevalence, work, loneliness
Ämneskategorier Folkhälsovetenskap, Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin

Sammanfattning

Background: We have previously studied prospective associations between computer use and mental health symptoms in a selected young adult population. The purpose of this study was to investigate if high computer use is a prospective risk factor for developing mental health symptoms in a population-based sample of young adults. Methods: The study group was a cohort of young adults (n = 4163), 20-24 years old, who responded to a questionnaire at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Exposure variables included time spent on computer use (CU) in general, email/chat use, computer gaming, CU without breaks, and CU at night causing lost sleep. Mental health outcomes included perceived stress, sleep disturbances, symptoms of depression, and reduced performance due to stress, depressed mood, or tiredness. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were calculated for prospective associations between exposure variables at baseline and mental health outcomes (new cases) at 1-year follow-up for the men and women separately. Results: Both high and medium computer use compared to low computer use at baseline were associated with sleep disturbances in the men at follow-up. High email/chat use was negatively associated with perceived stress, but positively associated with reported sleep disturbances for the men. For the women, high email/chat use was (positively) associated with several mental health outcomes, while medium computer gaming was associated with symptoms of depression, and CU without breaks with most mental health outcomes. CU causing lost sleep was associated with mental health outcomes for both men and women. Conclusions: Time spent on general computer use was prospectively associated with sleep disturbances and reduced performance for the men. For the women, using the computer without breaks was a risk factor for several mental health outcomes. Some associations were enhanced in interaction with mobile phone use. Using the computer at night and consequently losing sleep was associated with most mental health outcomes for both men and women. Further studies should focus on mechanisms relating information and communication technology (ICT) use to sleep disturbances.

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