Mental health implications of resource loss on social networking services during political upheaval

Kam Man Dorothy LAU, Wai Kai HOU, Brian J. HALL, Daphna CANETTI, Sin Man Mandy NG, Stevan E. HOBFOLL

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Objectives: To describe the prevalence of social resource loss on social networking services (SNS), its associations with physical and psychological health, and examine age differences in the associations immediately following the Umbrella Movement, 2014-2015. Design: Cross-section, population-based survey. Setting: Random digit dialing was used to recruit a population-representative sample of respondents during the first two weeks of February 2015. Participants: A total of 1,208 Chinese Hong Kong citizens were recruited and administered a questionnaire set. Main outcome measures: Anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-rated health status. Results: Among this sample, 32.5% reported online social resource loss on SNS. Higher levels of social resource loss on SNS were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, controlling for sociodemographic variables and generic social resource loss. Age moderated the positive association between SNS resource loss and depressive symptoms - the association between online social network loss and depressive symptoms was only significant among middle-aged and older adults but not younger adults. Conclusions: Social resource loss on SNS significantly predicts higher depressive symptoms among middle-aged and older but not younger adults during social/political upheaval, possibly due to differences in the composition of social partners online.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016



Lau, K. M., Hou, W. K., Hall, B. J., Canetti, D., Ng, S. M., & Hobfoll, S. E. (2016, January). Mental health implications of resource loss on social networking services during political upheaval. Paper presented at The International Behavioral Health Conference (BeHealth 2016): Multiplicity in action for better health, Prince Of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, China.