Title : Prevalence and factors associated with the use of electronic devices among adolescents: A cross-sectional study
Introduction: In recent decades, there has been a growing concern over problematic electronic device (e-device) use, characterized by excessive internet access and poorly controlled impulses, leading to impairment and distress. Despite the widespread accessibility of e-devices, challenges related to problematic usage remain underrecognized, particularly in low-income countries like Jordan. This study aims to assess the prevalence of e-device use, examine the relationship between duration of electronic use and psychological scores, and explore strategies for managing e-device dependency among adolescents.
Design: This study utilized a cross-sectional descriptive design with a multiple-stage cluster sampling technique. A total of 485 adolescents were selected as participants. Data collection involved the use of self-administered structured questionnaires, which measured variables such as e-device usage time, depression, anxiety, stress (using the DASS-21), and perceived social support (using MSPSS). The data were analyzed using SPSS version 22.
Results: The findings revealed that nearly all participants reported using e-devices for an average of five hours per day. A significant percentage (20.2%) of the participants experienced mild to extremely severe levels of depression, while 37.9% and 17% experienced anxiety and moderate stress levels, respectively. Female participants exhibited higher psychological impairment scores compared to males, and family emerged as the primary source of perceived social support. Gender differences were assessed using independent sample t-tests. Bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted, with the duration of e-device use as the independent variable and associated factors as the dependent variables. The first regression model showed that increased duration of e-device uses significantly predicted poorer psychological scores, even after controlling for other variables. However, this model explained only about 20% of the variance in the dependent variable. The second regression model indicated that e-device use time predicted perceived social support scores specifically from family. The variables in this model accounted for approximately 23% of the variance in the dependent variable.
Conclusion: This study highlights a high prevalence of e-device use among adolescents and identifies various factors associated with increased e-device dependency. It emphasizes the need for adolescents to develop strategies for managing healthy e-device practices. By addressing these issues, educators and stakeholders can promote positive e-device use habits and improve the overall well-being of adolescents.
Keywords: Electronic devices, Adolescents, Psychological distress, Perceived Social Support
Audience Take Away Notes:
- In recent decades, the problem of electronic device (e-device) use has been characterized by poorly controlled impulses or addiction behaviors regarding excessive e-device use which leads to impairment or distress. Despite this, various challenges relate to problematic e-device use, which remains underrecognized by stakeholders, especially in low-income countries, including Jordan.
- Behavioral addictions have serious negative consequences on physical, psychological, social, and financial well-being specially adolescence.
- The students, parents and teachers need to identify strategies for managing healthy practices of e-device use.