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Adolescents' Depressive Symptoms And Subsequent Technology-Based Interpersonal Behaviors: A Multi-Wave Study.

Jacqueline Nesi, A. Miller, M. Prinstein
Published 2017 · Medicine, Psychology

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This study examined the longitudinal effects of adolescents' depressive symptoms on engagement in technology-based social comparison and feedback seeking (SCFS) behaviors. A total of 816 adolescents (54.7% girls; Mage =14.1 at Time 1) participated at three times points, each one year apart. Adolescents reported technology-based SCFS, depressive symptoms, and frequencies of technology use (cell phones, Facebook, and Instagram). Multiple group (by gender) latent growth curve models examined concurrent and lagged effects of depressive symptoms on SCFS, controlling for adolescent's underlying trajectories of SCFS and overall frequencies of technology use. Results indicated that higher levels of depressive symptoms were concurrently associated with greater SCFS after accounting for adolescents' typical patterns of SCFS. For boys only, higher depressive symptoms were prospectively associated with later increases in SCFS. Results highlight the importance of social media as a unique context in which depressed adolescents may be at risk for maladaptive interpersonal behavior.
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