Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-40

Addiction-like behavior associated with social media usage in undergraduate students of a government medical college in Delhi, India

Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurav Basu
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_153_20

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Background: Excessive use of social media is increasingly being recognized as a source of technological addiction in young people globally. Objective: The aim of this study is to assess social media addiction in medical students using a self-designed questionnaire. Materials and Methods: We collected data from undergraduate medical students (MBBS) in Delhi, India using a self-administered 20-item social media addiction questionnaire (SMAQ) to measure addiction-like behavior, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to assess sleep quality. Results: We enrolled 264 (62.3%) male and 160 (37.7%) female participants of mean (standard deviation) age 19.83 (1.6) years. The Cronbach's alpha of the SMAQ was 0.879. A principal component analysis revealed a 4-component SMAQ structure based on eigenvalue cutoff (>1), loading score >0.3, and inspection of the Scree-plot that explained 54.7% of the total variance. We observed strong loadings of impaired control items on Component 1, decreased alternate pleasure items on Component 2, intense desire items on Component 3, and harmful use items on Component 4. The mean SMAQ score was significantly higher in the students reporting poor sleep quality and older students. Conclusion: The SMAQ has acceptable psychometric properties, with higher scores associated with sleep deprivation. A majority of students were unable to reduce their time spent on social media despite wanting to do so, signifying the presence of tolerance and impaired control.



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