AUSTIN, Texas — New research conducted at Texas State University has identified two social media behaviors that are likely to predict Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

The behaviors identified were comparing oneself to others who are better off and posting to social media while drinking alcohol.

The research team was composed of members of Texas State's psychology and communication studies departments. Stephanie Dailey of the Department of Communication Studies said these behaviors best predict GAD.

"We hope these findings raise awareness among social media users about specific online behaviors that might provoke anxiety symptoms," Dailey said.


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While time spent on social media has been linked to certain mental health issues, it remains unclear which social media behaviors may be damaging to mental well-being. This study aimed to specify social media behaviors related to GAD specifically. The team recruited more than 1,300 adults in the U.S. who are active social media users to take an online survey. 

The results of the study showed that those who experienced GAD were most likely to exhibit behaviors associated with social media addiction. 

The full study is published in the online journal "Spotlight on Mental Health Research."

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