Social networks and internet emotional relationships on mental health and quality of life in students: structural equation modelling

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Abstract

Background: Social networks and relationships create a sense of belonging and social identity; hence, can affect mental health and the quality of life, especially in young people. The present study was conducted to determine the predicting role of social networks and internet emotional relationships on students’ mental health and quality of life. Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted in 2021 on 350 students at Alborz University of Medical Sciences selected by convenience sampling. Data were collected using five questionnaires: socioeconomic status, social networks, internet emotional relationships, stress, anxiety, depression scale (DASS-21), quality of life, and a checklist of demographic details. Data were analyzed in SPSS-25, PLS-3, and Lisrel-8.8. Results: According to the path analysis, the DASS-21 score had the most significant positive causal association with internet emotional relationships in the direct path (B = 0.22) and the most negative association with socioeconomic status (B = − 0.09). Quality of life had the highest negative causal association with the DASS-21 score in the direct path (B = − 0.26) and the highest positive association with socioeconomic status in the indirect path (B = 0.02). The mean duration of using social networks (B ≈ − 0.07) and internet emotional relationships (B ≈ − 0.09) had the highest negative association with quality of life. Conclusion: The use of the internet and virtual networks, internet emotional relationships, and unfavorable socioeconomic status were associated with higher DASS-21 scores and reduced quality of life in the students. Since students are the future of countries, it is necessary for policymakers to further address this group and their concerns.

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Aliverdi, F., Farajidana, H., Tourzani, Z. M., Salehi, L., Qorbani, M., Mohamadi, F., & Mahmoodi, Z. (2022). Social networks and internet emotional relationships on mental health and quality of life in students: structural equation modelling. BMC Psychiatry, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-022-04097-6

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