Published: 03rd November 2020
Dating apps linked to depression, social anxiety in women: Study
Recent research suggests that motivations beyond intimate relationship formation attract people to mobile dating applications
Researchers have found that depression symptoms and social anxiety are associated with greater use of mobile dating applications such as Tinder and Bumble among women.
This study, published in the journal 'Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking', explored associations between symptoms of social anxiety and depression with participants' extent of dating app use, self-reported motivations for dating app use, and the likelihood of initiating interaction with dating app matches.
Recent research suggests that motivations beyond intimate relationship formation attract people to mobile dating applications.
"With increased symptoms of social anxiety and depression, women maybe even more likely to turn to technology for social connection, especially if alternative forms of social contact are reduced due to social avoidance," said study author Martin Antony from Ryerson University in Canada.
For the results, 374 participants completed an online battery of surveys that examined psychopathology and dating app use. Social anxiety and depression symptoms were positively associated with participants' extent of dating app use, and symptoms of psychopathology and gender interacted to predict various dating app use motivations.
Symptoms of social anxiety and depression predicted a lower likelihood of initiating contact with a dating app match among men but not women. This study provides an initial step towards understanding the relationship between social anxiety, depression, and use of dating apps.
Among the men, the greater their social anxiety and depression symptoms, the less likely they were to initiate contact with matches on mobile dating apps. "With mobile dating apps increasingly figuring into today's dating landscape, research studies are vital to understanding their merits as well as their shortcomings," the study authors noted.