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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-31

Screen time and mental well-being of students during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a survey among medical and engineering students


Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_365_21

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Background and Objectives: Concerns have been expressed about the possible adverse impact of increased screen time on the psychological well-being of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study aimed to assess the relationship between screen time and mental well-being among college students. Methods: This cross-sectional online survey-based study was conducted among Indian college students. Details regarding sociodemographics and the amount and pattern of screen time usage and mental well-being (assessed using World Health Organization Well-Being Index; 5) were collected. Furthermore, personality traits were assessed using a validated questionnaire. Results: The final study sample comprised of 731 medical and engineering undergraduate students with a mean age of 20.7 years. The total screen time across different devices among the study participants for both weekdays and weekends was comparable, with a median value of 540 min. Poor mental well-being was significantly associated with higher total screen time (P = 0.03). Furthermore, screen time use predominantly to access social media for noncommunication purposes was associated with significantly lower mental well-being scores (P = 0.03). Conclusions: The current study highlights the impact of screen time on the mental well-being of students. The higher total screen time use was associated with poor mental well-being. Various types of screen time could have a differential relation with the mental well-being of students. Increased screen time use predominantly to access social media for noncommunication purposes was associated with a higher risk of poor mental well-being.


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