Dr Justin Thomas

Justin is a professor of psychology at Zayed University, department chair and director of the research cluster for Culture, Cognition and Wellbeing. Justin has published extensively on topics related to psychological wellbeing and psychopathology. He is the author of Psychological Wellbeing in the Gulf States: The New Arabia Felix. He is also the inventor of Anamorphic Micro, a computerized body image assessment technique used in the treatment and assessment of eating disorders. Justin has been exploring the interface between digital technology, culture, and psychological wellbeing for more than two decades.

Digital Resilience: Exploring Problematic Social Media Use in Adults

Time spent on social media continues to rise globally. For some individuals, social media use can become maladaptive and associated with clinically significant social and occupational impairments. This problematic social media use (PSMU) is also linked with poorer health and wellbeing. What are the factors that determine when social media use becomes problematic? Which resilience factors, if any, play a role in ensuring our social media use remains adaptive and perhaps even supportive of our wellbeing? This presentation aims to explore such questions using data collected from a large international survey. Participants (N = 15,000) were representative adult samples (N = 500) drawn from 30 nations. All participants provided socio-demographic data and completed a measure of PSMU, along with questions assessing attitudes towards social media and general usage. In this presentation of results, we will explore the prevalence of PSMU, internationally. We also use multivariate logistical regression to identify possible risk and resilience factors for PSMU. Finally, we end by discussing the results to help inform clinical practice and public health/policy initiatives to reduce PSMU prevalence.

Dr Justin Thomas