• To read about a study of adolescents’ use of social media as a coping strategy during COVID-19
• To increase your knowledge of types of coping mechanisms used by adolescents during challenging situations
• To enhance your understanding of the positive and negative effects of using social media as a coping mechanism
Background During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, adolescents used various coping strategies to manage stress and loneliness. One such strategy was to engage in active coping, social relations coping and humour coping via social media. Such coping strategies can be helpful but can also reinforce stress and loneliness.
Aim To explore adolescents’ use of social media to manage stress and loneliness at a time of restricted social contacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including potential differences between adolescents according to gender, age, area of residence and extent of social media use.
Method A cross-sectional design and an online questionnaire were used to survey a convenience sample of adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years in Jordan. Three data collection tools were used – the modified Brief Coping Scale, the six-item Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale and the Perceived Stress Scale.
Results A total of 770 adolescents participated, half of whom were using social media more than before the pandemic. Increased use of active coping, social relations coping and humour coping was associated with decreases in stress and loneliness. Active coping contributed the most to reducing levels of stress while social relations coping contributed the most to reducing levels of loneliness. Younger participants made more use of active coping and humour coping than older participants.
Conclusion Social media use can be a positive coping strategy for adolescents to manage stress and loneliness during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2023.e1456Peer review
This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Damra JK, Akour MM, Al Omari O (2023) Stress and loneliness: exploring adolescents’ use of social media as a coping strategy during COVID-19. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2023.e1456
Published online: 22 May 2023
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