This was the first large study that looked into the associations between use of a broad range of social media outlets and depression.
Previous studies done on a small number of samples focusing primarily on one specific social media platform had demonstrated mixed results.
The new results have emerged from the study of 1787 young adults in 2014 by Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health and his colleagues.
The study participants were ages 19 through 32 and the researchers used questionnaires to determine social media use and an established depression assessment tool, reported science portal EurekAlert.
They were asked about the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.
The participants used social media a total of 61 minutes per day and visited various social media accounts 30 times per week on an average.
More than a quarter of the participants who used more social media were found to be having “high” indicators of depression, stated the study.
The study is published online and scheduled for the April 1 issue of the journal Depression and Anxiety.