Volume 15, Issue 4 p. 304-312
Original Article

Media, Technology Use, and Attitudes: Associations With Physical and Mental Well-Being in Youth With Implications for Evidence-Based Practice

Nadine Zeeni PhD

Corresponding Author

Nadine Zeeni PhD

Associate Professor of Nutrition, Department of Natural Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon

Address correspondence to Nadine Zeeni, Department of Natural Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Lebanese American University, P.O. Box 36, Byblos, Lebanon; [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
Rita Doumit RN, MPH, PhD

Rita Doumit RN, MPH, PhD

Assistant Professor of Nursing, Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing, Lebanese American, University, Byblos, Lebanon

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Joelle Abi Kharma MS, LD

Joelle Abi Kharma MS, LD

Instructor of Nutrition, Department of Natural Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon

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Maria-Jose Sanchez-Ruiz PhD

Maria-Jose Sanchez-Ruiz PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Social Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon

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First published: 15 May 2018
Citations: 34

ABSTRACT

Background

Previous research has shown that the use of technology and media, in their different available forms, may have detrimental effects on the physical and mental well-being of adolescents and young adults.

Aims

The present study aimed to investigate the use of different types of technology and media, attitudes toward them, and how they relate to physical and mental well-being in Lebanese university students.

Methods

A descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional design was used. A sample of 244 undergraduates completed a self-report measuring media and technology use and attitudes, eating-related variables (e.g., healthy eating, body image dissatisfaction [BID], and eating disorders [EDs] risk), trait emotional intelligence (TEI), and psychopathology indicators (stress, anxiety, and depression).

Results

The use of mobile phone multimedia (music, pictures, and videos) correlated with unhealthy eating and stress. Social media use was associated with BID, EDs risk, and the self-control construct of TEI. Anxiety of separation from technological devices and dependence on them was associated with increased BID, EDs risk, depression, and anxiety.

Linking Evidence to Action

Practical implications are discussed in terms of setting limits and boundaries on technology use during childhood and adolescence, and encouraging healthy eating and physical activity at home and on college campuses. Moreover, social media could be used as a platform for intervention and prevention programs to decrease BID, EDs, depression, and anxiety.