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Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Their Association with the Use of Electronic Devices among Adolescents during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ahmad Y. Alqassim*, Mohamed S. Mahfouz, Mohammed M. Hakami, Abdullah A. Al Faqih, Ahmad A. Shugairi, Malek R. Alsanosy, Ahmed Y. Rayyani, AbdulAziz Y. Albrraq, Mohammed A. Muaddi, Abdullah A. Alharbi

Family and Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia

* Corresponding Author: Ahmad Y. Alqassim. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2022, 24(2), 251-262.


Background: Adolescence is a critical, multifactorial developmental phase. With the current pandemic of COVID-19, excessive using of electronic devices is a public health concern. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between depression and the use of electronic devices among secondary school children in Jazan, Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: The study is an observational, cross-sectional study. Data was collected using an anonymous online survey instrument. including the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale. Results: A total of 427 participants were included in the study. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress in our study was 14.55%, 12.01%, and 15.55%, respectively. For the hours spent on electronic devices, 13.6% of participants spent 1–4 h, 43.6% spent 5–9 h, and 42.9% spent 10 h or more. 86.7% reported an increase in their use of electronic devices during COVID-19. The regression analysis revealed that the increase of Videogame Addiction Scale for Children is significantly associated with an increase in Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scores (p-value < 0.05 for all). Conclusion: Electronic device use is a challenging issue among Saudi adolescents, and it has been associated with a negative impact on participants’ mental well-being. The study found a positive correlation between electronic device use and increased prevalence of mental health issues. We also found significantly increased use of electronic device during the COVID-19 lockdown; hence, more mental issues were reported. It is obvious that electronic device use needs to be more controlled among adolescents. This can be achieved by involving those who are in this age group in other activities, like sports, which can reduce the time they spend on electronic device.


Cite This Article

Alqassim, A. Y., Mahfouz, M. S., Hakami, M. M., A., A., Shugairi, A. A. et al. (2022). Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Their Association with the Use of Electronic Devices among Adolescents during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 24(2), 251–262.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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