Problematic social media use and gaming in association with self-perceived family socioeconomic status among Latvian adolescents

Kristīne Ozoliņa, Inese Gobiņa

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Objectives:Behavioural addictions are relatively understudied, but their relevance has grown in recent years. Some previous research have shown that problematic gaming and social media use can lead to different adverse health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, risk for substance use and others. However, the prevalence of behavioural addictions varies between countries and sociodemographic groups of adolescents. The aim of the study was to analyse the prevalence of problematic social media and gaming and explore the associations with sociodemographic factors among adolescents in Latvia.Materials and Methods: Data from nationally representative sample of Latvian adolescents aged 15-16 were used (n=2743) that were collected within the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other drugs (ESPAD) in 2019. To identify problematic social media use and problematic gaming “Self-perceived problems related to Social Media/Gaming” scale was used. Independent variables on adolescent gender, age and educational level of parents and self-perceived family socioeconomic status were studied. Logistic regression models were used to explore the associations between problematic behavioural addictions and sociodemographic factors.Results: Slightly more than half of the respondents who answered questions about social media use were problematic social media users (50.6%), while 23.1% were problematic video game players. Boys had 5.4 times higher odds for problematic video game playing than girls, while girls were 1.7 times more likely to be problematic social media users (p<0.01). There were no statistically significant associations between problematic social media use and gaming and education level of parents. Adjusted for gender, problematic gaming was not statistically significantly associated with family well-off, but adolescents whose family were worse-off had 1.4 times higher odds for problematic social media use than adolescents whose family were better-off (p<0.02). Conclusions: The prevalence of problematic gaming and problematic social media use is high among adolescents in Latvia, and it is statistically different in socioeconomic groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785
JournalMedicina (Kaunas)
Issue numberSuppl.2
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventRSU Research week 2023: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga Stradiņš University, Riga, Latvia
Duration: 29 Mar 202331 Mar 2023
Conference number: 9


  • Adolescents
  • Problematic gaming
  • Social media use

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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