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Behavioural symptoms of mental health disorder such as depression among young people using Instagram: a systematic review.

Adeyanju, Gbadebo Collins; Solfa, Ron Patrick; Tran, Thuy Linh; Wohlfarth, Sophia; B�ttner, Jonas; Osobajo, Oluyomi A.; Otitoju, Afolabi


Gbadebo Collins Adeyanju

Ron Patrick Solfa

Thuy Linh Tran

Sophia Wohlfarth

Jonas B�ttner

Afolabi Otitoju


There is a growing debate on the linkage between social networking platforms and mental health disorder, such as depressive behaviour or depression. However, the relationship between Instagram use and depression or depressive behaviour has not been exhaustively examined. This review aims to examine these two variables. Only peer-reviewed journal articles that are published between October 2010 and December 2018 were sought in central and journal databases. Studies were selected based on predefined criteria and assessed for risk of bias and quality of evidence using GRADE. 1,856 studies were the outcome of the search, out of which 9 meets all eligible criteria. Of the 9 studies, three-quarter was published between 2017 and 2018, covering five continents: (North America: 3; Asia: 2; Australia: 2; South America: 1, Europe: 1). The final included studies broadly examined young Instagram users between the age of 19 and 35. The synthesis affirmed a linkage between Instagram and symptoms of depression or depressive behaviour. Variables that moderate this relationship are social comparison, self-esteem built on validation and approval of others, social media dependence, gender, negative or insufficient feedback, poor self-rated attractiveness, Instagram broadcasting and loneliness, younger users and risk of anxiety, and the number of strangers that users follow. There is a strong relationship between Instagram use and mental health disorders such as depression or depressive behaviour; however, no in-depth direct causality is proven yet. Further studies are needed to unravel the direct causality puzzles.


ADEYANJU, G.C., SOLFA, R.P., TRAN, T.L., WOHLFARTH, S., BÜTTNER, J., OSOBAJO, O.A. and OTITOJU, A. 2021. Behavioural symptoms of mental health disorder such as depression among young people using Instagram: a systematic review. Translational medicine communications [online], 6, article number 15. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 26, 2021
Journal Translational medicine communications
Electronic ISSN 2396-832X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Article Number 15
Keywords Instagram use; Depression; Mental health disorder; Social media; Self-esteem; Depressive behaviour; Women; Young people
Public URL


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