Association of the time spent on social media news with depression and suicidal ideation among a sample of Lebanese adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Lebanese economic crisis
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe main objectives were to associate between social media news consumption during these unstable times and depression, as well as suicidal ideation among a sample of Lebanese adults, in addition to associate between fear of Covid-19, depression and suicidal ideation. Secondary objectives aimed to check the mediating effect of depression in the association between time spent on social media to get the news and the presence of suicidal ideation. This is a cross-sectional study executed between April and May 2021. It involved 402 Lebanese citizens aged 18 years and above, selected randomly from all Lebanese districts. Having cancer (Beta = 0.20) or lung disease (Beta = 0.27), more fear of COVID-19 (Beta = 0.16), a higher time spent on social media for news (Beta = 0.13) and a higher household crowding index (Beta = 0.29) were significantly associated with more depression, whereas having a pet in the house (Beta = -0.13) and working in the medical field (Beta = -0.17) were significantly associated with less depression. Higher depression (aOR = 1.19) was significantly associated with higher odds of having suicidal ideation, whereas more fear of COVID-19 (aOR = 0.84) and older age (aOR = 0.96) were significantly associated with less odds of having suicidal ideation. Depression did not mediate the association between time spent on social media to get the news and suicidal ideation. This study showed that more time spent on social media reading the news is associated with higher depression but not suicidal ideation. Fear of Covid-19 is associated with more depression, but less suicidal ideation. Further studies are needed to identify the causality between social media news consumption, depression and suicidal ideation. Moreover, awareness campaigns should be organized to teach people how to consume social media news in a responsible way, without letting it affect their emotions directly, which may cause psychological disorders.
Journal titleCurrent Psychology