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Original Article

Anadolu Psikiyatri Derg. 2020; 21(6): 641-648

Use of social media and autistic traits in adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder

Berkan Şahin, Miraç Barış Usta.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between social media use and smartphone use and autistic traits in adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: Fifty-six adoles-cent patients diagnosed with MDD were included. The Autism Spectrum Questionnaire-Adolescent Version (ASQ-A), the Social Media Use Disorder Scale (SMDS), the Smartphone Addiction Scale-Short version (SAS-SV) the Children’s Depression Inventory, and Schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school-age children-present and lifetime version-Turkish version were applied to the participants. Results: The mean total ASQ-A score was determined to be below the defined cutoff points. Adolescents diagnosed with depression with high autistic traits (AT) showed a significantly higher depression score than the low AT group. In the correlation analysis, a signi-ficant positive relationship was determined between the depression score and the SMDS score (r=0.301) and between the SMDS score and the SAS-SV score (r=0.603). In the correlation analysis of the ASQ-A and the SMDS subscales, a significant positive relationship was determined between social skills and persistence, social skills and escape, and communication and withdrawal. Conclusion: The current study results present a different perspective that the determination of autistic traits in the depressive disorder could be important in determining treatment strategies. When determining the treatment strategies for adolescents diagnosed with depressive disorder, it may be important to determine autistic traits and to strengthen and support these difficulties by providing psychosocial interventions to increase social skills and communication in the context of cognitive and behavioral interventions to replace social media use for the adolescents to feel better and avoid stressful situations and negative mental states. Further long-term studies could show whether autistic traits create vulnerability to depression.

Key words: Autistic traits; social media; adolescents; smartphone; major depressive disorder

Article Language: Turkish English

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