Prevalence of social network addiction and its association with depression, anxiety, and stress among Iranian internet users

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD. student in clinical psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD. student in addiction studies, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Regarding the invention of smart phones and improved Internet connectivity, the use of social network sites has become an essential part of people’s daily life. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with social network addiction among Iranian users at a national level.
Materials and Methods: The statistical population of the present study included all Iranian internet users who use social network sites in 2018 in Iran. Participants were 5,360 individuals recruited from an online survey. Social network addiction was measured using Social Network Addiction Test (SNA-T), and factors associated with social network addiction were measured using Depression, Anxiety and Stress scale (DASS-21). Descriptive and Logistic regression tests were used.
Results: It is indicated that 29.7%, 11.2%, and 0.9% of the participants, had low, moderate and severe addiction to social network sites, respectively. Also, adolescents and youth were significantly more addicted to social network sites than adults. Participants with high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, were significantly more addicted to social network sites than participants with low levels of depression, anxiety and stress (P< 0.001).
Conclusion: The findings highlight the prevalence of social network addiction and co-occurrence with depression, anxiety, and stress among Iranian population. Whether we consider social network addiction as a primary diagnosis or as an outcome of other psychiatric disorders, it should be noted and considered in psychiatric treatment.


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