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Associations between problematic social media use, parental mediation strategies, family relationships, and mental health in Saudi adolescents and parents

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posted on 2023-08-09, 10:55 authored by Najwa S. Albeladi

Background: Adolescents have high rates of social media use and are more likely to experience a variety of mental health and family relationship problems. Parents use various parental mediation strategies to minimize risks and maximise benefits on social media. However, most evidence in this regard has been reported from western countries with limited research being conducted in middle east countries. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between social media use, social media integration, demographic factors, parental mediation strategies, cyberbullying, family relationships and mental health in Saudi Arabia. Three studies have been conducted to achieve the research aim. Study 1 examined the impact of social media use on family relationships and the effect of parental mediation on social media use and family relationships in Saudi adolescents. Study 2 investigated the impact of demographic characteristics and perception of social media on parental mediation and the impact of parental mediation on family relationships in Saudi parents. Study 3 examined the mediating role of family relationships in the association between the use of social media and mental health problems and the impact of the use of social media on cyberbullying in Saudi adolescents.

Method: Using a cross-sectional research design, Study 1 (n=349) and Study 3 (n=250) were conducted on adolescents aged between 13-18 years, who completed measures of social media use, social media integration, family relationships, parental mediation strategies, and mental health problems. Study 2 (n=343) was performed on parents who completed measures of parental perception of social media use, parental mediation strategies, and family relationships.

Results: The results of Study 1 showed that problematic social media use significantly predicted family relationships and that monitoring mediation and technical mediation significantly predicted the use of Snapchat. The results of Study 2 indicated that parents’ social media skills, education level, and monthly income significantly predicted different types of parental mediation. Furthermore, internet safety mediation and active mediation significantly predicted family relationships. The results of Study 3 revealed that the victims of cyberbullying reported greater levels of social media use, poor family relationships, and higher symptoms of mental health challenges, with problematic social media use exacerbating the likelihood of cyberbullying. Family conflict was found to mediate the relationship between the use of social media and mental health problems.

Conclusions: The results of this thesis are useful to tailor and implement possible interventions aimed at reducing the adverse effect of the use of social media on family relationships and mental health problems and the effect of parental mediation strategies on social media use and family relationships. The results also highlight the importance of lesser family conflict in mitigating the adverse effect of the use of social media on mental health challenges

History

Supervisor(s)

Emma Palmer; Michelle O'Reilly

Date of award

2023-05-09

Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD

Language

en

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