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Article

The Effect of Problematic Social Media Use on Happiness among Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Lifestyle Habits

1
Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
2
Department of Public Health and Paediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy
3
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
4
National Centre for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Italian National Institute of Health, 00161 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052576
Received: 25 January 2022 / Revised: 17 February 2022 / Accepted: 19 February 2022 / Published: 23 February 2022
Background: Although the relationship between problematic social media use (PSMU) and happiness has been already explored, less is known about the mechanisms that translate PSMU into lower happiness through lifestyle habits. Therefore, the current study focuses on the association between PSMU and happiness, exploring a mediating effect of lifestyle habits (e.g., difficulties in getting to sleep and frequency of physical activity) among Italian adolescents. Methods: A total of 58,976 Italian adolescents (mean age = 13.6, SD = 1.63; age range = 10.5–16.5; 49.4% females) were included. The pattern of relationships specified by the theoretical model was examined through path analysis. Results: Difficulties in getting to sleep (β = −0.037, p < 0.001) and frequency of physical activity (β = −0.012, p < 0.001) were mediators in the relationship between PSMU and happiness. Multi-group analyses across gender and age groups (11, 13, and 15 years old) showed that the chain mediating effect of the frequency of physical activity on the difficulties in getting to sleep was not significant for females but significant for males and for all of the three age groups. Overall, females and older ages were sensitive to the whole model. Conclusion: Along with difficulties in getting to sleep and the frequency of physical activity, lifestyle habits may contribute to the association between PSMU and happiness. We also recommend that future studies focus on PSMU in females and older adolescents, as they show more general sleep problems and reduced physical activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: problematic social media use; happiness; sleep; physical activity; path analysis problematic social media use; happiness; sleep; physical activity; path analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, J.; Marino, C.; Canale, N.; Charrier, L.; Lazzeri, G.; Nardone, P.; Vieno, A. The Effect of Problematic Social Media Use on Happiness among Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Lifestyle Habits. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 2576. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052576

AMA Style

Zhang J, Marino C, Canale N, Charrier L, Lazzeri G, Nardone P, Vieno A. The Effect of Problematic Social Media Use on Happiness among Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Lifestyle Habits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(5):2576. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052576

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Jiewen, Claudia Marino, Natale Canale, Lorena Charrier, Giacomo Lazzeri, Paola Nardone, and Alessio Vieno. 2022. "The Effect of Problematic Social Media Use on Happiness among Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Lifestyle Habits" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 5: 2576. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052576

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