The role of personality and depression in problematic use of social networking sites in Greece


The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship of Social Networking Site (SNS) problematic usage with personality characteristics and depressive symptomatology. A sample of 143 young adults in Greece varying from 18 to 34 years of age completed four questionnaires on personality characteristics, depressive symptomatology, problematic SNS usage and socio-demographic factors. Problematic SNS usage is significantly and positively related to depression and Neuroticism, while negatively associated with Agreeableness. However, problematic use of SNS is not related to Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience and Extraversion, although the latter was found to be negatively associated with depression. Collectively, personality variables, depression and daily average usage account for about 33% of the variance in predicting problematic SNS usage. In contrast to previous research findings, age and gender are not found to be related to either problematic SNS usage or depressive symptomatology. However, place of residence is associated with Neuroticism and Problematic Use, with participants from rural areas exhibiting higher scores than participants from urban areas. Finally, Neuroticism and the average daily use of SNS have been proven to be good predictors of problematic SNS usage. Personality, depressive symptomatology and socio-demographic factors relate to the way Social Networking Sites are being used. Implications are discussed.

depression; Internet; personality characteristics; problematic use; social networking sites; young adults
Author biographies

Kyriaki G. Giota

Author photo Kyriaki G. Giota is a psychologist and a PhD. candidate in the Department of Special Education at the University of Thessaly, Greece. She has a Masters degree in Counselling and Therapeutic Communication and her research interests revolve around Social Networking Site usage, communication and interpersonal relationships online, as well as depression and counselling.

George Kleftaras

Author photo George Kleftaras, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in “Clinical Psychology – Psychopathology” at the Department of Special Education, University of Thessally, Greece, and Director of the Postgraduate Program (M.Sc.) “Counselling in Special–General Education and Health” and the “Laboratory of Psychology and Applications on Education”. He has significant clinical work in counselling and psychotherapy and he is author of “Depression today: Description, diagnosis, theories and research evidence” (1998) and “La dépression: Approche cognitive et comportementale” (2004, in French); editor of “Cultural and multicultural counselling: People with special needs, minority groups, students” (2009); co-editor of “From psychopathology to meaning in life” (2009), “Counselling psychology for women” (2006) and “Applied clinical psychology for children” (2004); and scientific editor of the book series “Modern Psychological Issues”. He has participated in a number of funded research and/or intervention programs and he has published numerous scientific papers and articles in Greek, English and French. His research interests focus on (a) Clinical Psychology with emphasis on Existential Psychology, Meaning in Life and Spirituality, (b) Psychopathology with emphasis on Depression, Loneliness, Anxiety and Addictions (Internet, Alcoholism, Drug Usage), (c) Counselling/Psychotherapy focusing on Integrative, Existential and Cultural–Multicultural Approach and (d) Animal–Assisted Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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