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Associations between Binge-watching and Depression, Social Interaction Anxiety and Loneliness
social interaction anxiety
Background: The development of technology changes the ways people watch TV. The study aimed to describe the binge-watching patterns and investigate the associations between binge-watching behavior and depression, social interaction anxiety, and loneliness among adults in Taiwan. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in October 2018, and 1488 participants were recruited. Data were collected using a self-administrated questionnaire composed by four valid and reliable scales: (1) the Center for Epidemiologic Studied Depression Scale, CES-D (range 0~60); (2) Social Interaction Anxiety Scale-Chinese Version, SIAS-C (range 0~80); (3) the UCLA Loneliness Scale-Version 3 (range 20~80); (4) the Problematic Series Watching Scales, PSWS (range 6~30), which is based on the Griffiths’ six-component addiction model including salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, conflict, and relapse. The participants with PSWS score≧18 were defined as the high-risk group of problematic binge-watching. Information on TV-watching habits was also assessed. Results: Among 1488 surveyed adults, 72.9% self-reported binge-watching and 82.8% of those binge-watchers were female. On average, binge-watchers spent 2.2 (SD=1.5) hours per day on weekdays, 3.6 (SD=2.5) hours per day on weekend, and 3.9 (SD=2.0) days per day in a week on watching series. The average score of PSWS was 15.29 (SD=4.86), and 33.7% of the participants were the high-risk group of problematic binge-watching. Time on binge-watching, frequency of binge-watching and series of binge-watching were positively related to binge-watching addiction. The average score of CES-D was 14.9 (SD=8.3), SIAS-C was 34.1 (SD=14.6) and Loneliness Scale was 39.3 (SD=8.3). Results of multiple regression showed that self-reported low physical and mental health, and the higher level of problematic binge-watching were significant predictors of the risk of increased depression, social interaction anxiety and loneliness (p<0.001 for each model). Conclusion: Binge-watching might be associated with increased risks of depression, social anxiety, and loneliness in adults in Taiwan. We suggest that future studies should continue to explore the patterns of binge-watching behaviors and assess the potential impact on health.
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