Problem Electronic Device Use in a Representative Sample of Adults in Ontario
Keywords:electronic device, mental health, population survey, problem technology use, adults
There is growing evidence of correlations between the amount of time spent using electronic devices in leisure and negative health outcomes. However, studies often lack indicators of problematic technology use, rarely investigate relationships between such problem use patterns and indicators of poor mental health, and use samples that are unrepresentative of the adult population. Using a representative telephone survey of adults, we applied the Problem Electronic Device Use (PEDU) scale to estimate the level of PEDU in Ontario, Canada, and the associations between PEDU scores and a wide range of outcomes with a series of multivariate logistic regressions. We found an average weekly electronic device use of 15.57 hr, excluding work or school, and moderate to severe problem technology use among 7.9% of the adult population. Moderate to severe PEDU was significantly associated with suicidal ideation, serious psychological distress, problem alcohol use, and treatment for anxiety. Implications for the findings are discussed.
Il existe des preuves croissantes de corrélations entre la durée d’utilisation d’un appareil électronique à des fins de divertissement et les conséquences négatives sur la santé. On note souvent l’absence d’indicateurs de l’usage problématique des technologies dans les études qui examinent les corrélations entre cet usage et les indicateurs de troubles de santé mentale ou qui utilisent des échantillons représentatifs de la population adulte. À partir des résultats d’un sondage téléphonique représentatif mené auprès d’adultes, la présente étude a eu recours à l’échelle d’évaluation de l’usage problématique des appareils électroniques (Problem Electronic Device Use ou PEDU) pour estimer l’ampleur de ce phénomène dans la province (Ontario) et a appliqué une série de régressions logistiques multivariées pour établir des liens entre les résultats PEDU et un large éventail de conséquences sur la santé mentale. L’étude a révélé que l’usage hebdomadaire moyen des appareils électroniques chez les adultes sondés était de 15,57 heures et que 7,9 % d’entre eux rapportaient un niveau modéré à sévère d’usage problématique de la technologie. Des liens significatifs ont été établis entre l’usage problématique des appareils électroniques et plusieurs indicateurs de troubles de santé mentale et de consommation de substances psychoactives. Les implications de ces constats sont discutées ici.
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