The average American adult scored 10.2 out of 30 on the PSS.
One of the starkest contrasts in our survey was between the level of reported stress experienced by men and women.
For men, there is no relationship between psychological stress and frequent use of social media, mobile phones, or the internet more broadly.
Men who use these technologies report similar levels of stress when compared with non-users.
On average, men reported stress levels that were 7% lower than for women.
There are other demographic characteristics that are related to stress.However, with the exception of Twitter, for the average person, the relationship between stress and these technologies is relatively small.Women who are heavier participants in these activities report less stress.By using regression analysis we are able determine the degree to which technology use is specifically associated with stress by holding demographic characteristics constant.Since men and women tend to experience stress differently, we ran separate analyses for each sex.The PSS consists of ten questions and measures the degree to which individuals feel that their lives are overloaded, unpredictable and uncontrollable.Participants were asked: In the last 30 days, how often have you: Participants responded on a 4-point scale from “frequently” to “never.” The ten items were combined so that a higher score indicates higher psychological stress (the scale ranges from 0-30 with zero representing no stress and 30 representing the highest level).Given the popularity of Facebook, we also asked very specific questions about users’ networks and what people do on that platform: number of friends (the average was 329), frequency of status updates (the average was 8 times per month), frequency of “Liking” other people’s content (the average was 34 times per month), frequency of commenting (the average was 22 times per month), and how often they send private messages (the average was 15 times per month).We asked people how many digital pictures they share online (the average was 4 times per week), how many people they email (9 people/day), and how many emails they send and receive (an average of 25 per day).We found that women, and those with fewer years of education, tend to report higher levels of stress, while those who are married or living with a partner report less psychological stress (see Table 1 in Appendix A).For women (but not men), those who are younger, and those who are employed in paid work outside of the home also tend to experience less stress.