Poster Session B, Sunday, March 24, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Interactions Between Media Use, Depression, and Trait Rumination
Jesus J. Lopez1, Joseph M. Orr1; 1Texas A&M University
Given the prevalence of media multitasking (i.e., engaging concurrently in multiple forms of media) in today’s society, it is important to examine its effect on psychosocial factors, such as depression. Previous research on media multitasking use found a relationship between media multitasking and depression (Becker et al., 2013). Depression is often associated with rumination—dwelling on negative thoughts. However, whether there is a three-way relationship between media multitasking, depression, and rumination remains an open question. Therefore, this study asked, “Does a high media multitasking individual engage in rumination more so than a low multitasker? Or, is media multitasking a replacement for trait rumination in depressed individuals?” Here, 303 participants completed the Media Use Questionnaire, which was then used to calculate an individual’s Media Multitasking Index (MMI), followed by both the Beck Depression Inventory II and the Ruminative Response Scale. We predicted that the more a person with depression multitasks, the less they will engage in rumination, suggesting that the act of multitasking is a replacement for rumination. Depression was predicted by both MMI and rumination, suggesting that more media multitasking use as well as rumination are related to depression. Contrary to our hypothesis, rumination was positively predicted by media multitasking on its own, suggesting that more media multitasking is associated with higher amounts of rumination. However, a mediator analysis with MMI as the mediator variable was unsuccessful. Ongoing work should be focused on further examining the relationship between these and related variables.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions