Social anxiety and internet use - A meta-analysis: What do we know? What are we missing?

Shiri Prizant-Passal, Tomer Shechner, Idan M. Aderka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective The present meta-analysis quantitatively reviewed existing literature on social anxiety (SA) and internet use, examining the relationships between SA and three internet use variables: (1) feelings of comfort online; (2) time spent online; and (3) problematic internet use (PIU). In addition, it considered developmental level (age) as a moderator of the social anxiety-internet use relationship. Method We conducted a literature search using PubMed and PsycINFO databases. Our meta-analysis was based on 22 studies and included 13,460 participants. Results and discussion Results indicated that social anxiety (a) is correlated positively with feelings of comfort online, (b) is not correlated with total time spent online, email use and IM, but is correlated positively with time spent on gamming, and (c) is correlated positively with PIU. The study also found developmental level to be a moderator of the correlations between social anxiety and internet use variables. Research and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Communication
  • Internet
  • Internet use
  • Meta-analysis
  • Online social networks
  • Social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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