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Palestinian youth “10 times as likely” to be addicted to social media

Jerusalem24 – A new study conducted by three Palestinian researchers has found that Palestinian youth addiction to social networks is “five to 10 times higher” when compared to global ratios.

The study, “Psychometric properties and factorial structure of the social network addiction scale within the Arabic language & Palestinian context”, conducted by Wissam Atwan, Dr. Nader Salha, and Dr. Fayez Mahamid, used the International Social Network Addiction (SNA) scale to assess addictive behavior among Palestinian youth.

The study was conducted on a sample of over 700 youth between the ages of 16 and 20.

Wissam Atwan, Media Consultant and Researcher and coordinator of the Life-Three Research Community at Al-Quds University, joined us at Jerusalem24’s studios to break down the key points of the study.

Atwan explains the scale they applied for the Palestinian study “worked in a different paradigm than the original SNA scale, [and] yielded four dimensions rather than the original six – which requires further investigation… We are measuring the psychiatric traits, so whether someone is addicted to something or not, depends on their psychological analysis.”

Atwan says that the Life-Three Research Community is trying to assemble a team of academics with different approaches, as befits an interdisciplinary area of research. The team wants to put effort into designing an addiction scale specifically tailored to the Arab culture.

Further research is also required to study the effects of the SNA on the mental health and wellbeing of Palestinian youth as well as various factors behind the addiction, according to Atwan, who is currently conducting a complementary study in the Life-Three Research Community.

Atwan also talks about the academic hoops he and his team had to jump through in order to include the occupation as a risk factor for addiction in the area of study.

Watch the full interview on Vibes.

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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