Publications by authors named "Hiroko Mastunaga"

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Who is mentally healthy? Mental health profiles of Japanese social networking service users with a focus on LINE, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

PLoS One 2021 3;16(3):e0246090. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Research Team for Social Participation and Community Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Both negative and positive associations between social networking service (SNS) usage and mental health have been suggested by previous studies; however, their differences by type of SNS and age remain unclear. We addressed this issue based on the frequency of traditional communication such as face-to-face and non-face-to-face communication (e.g., phone, email, and letters).

Methods: In total, 8,576 individuals participated, including 2,543 aged 18-39, 3,048 aged 40-64, and 2,985 aged over 65 years. They were asked to indicate their frequency of SNS usage, both for posting and checking, of LINE (a popular message application in Japan), Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with frequent usage defined as posting or checking more than a few times a week. To determine mental health status, WHO-5 (i.e., well-being), K6 (i.e., distress symptoms), and feelings of loneliness were assessed. Multiple and logistic regression analyses were adjusted for the frequency of traditional communication. To avoid type 1 error, a Bonferroni correction of p ≤ 0.002 was applied in the regression models (p = 0.05/18, a number of regression models).

Results: The most frequently used SNS across the three age groups was LINE; frequent usage (both posting and checking) among older adults was independently associated with better well-being. Frequent posting on Facebook was associated with better well-being in middle-aged adults. Young adults who frequently checked on Instagram showed a tendency toward better well-being and lower distress symptoms. On the contrary, frequent usage of Twitter was associated with distress symptoms or feelings of loneliness across all three age groups.

Conclusions: We found generational and SNS-type-dependent negative and positive associations between SNS use and mental health, indicating the possible influences of SNS use and the importance of non-SNS communication.
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March 2021