Int J Environ Res Public Health 19 (15) - [2022-08-06; online 2022-08-06]
Binge-watching, the viewing of online videos or streamed content, may be associated with different types of mental health problems. The present study aimed to investigate the associations between binge-watching and five mental health concerns including depression, loneliness, sleep problems, anxiety, and stress. Academic databases of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, PsycINFO, and Psych Articles were systematically searched through February of 2022. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to assess the methodological quality. A meta-analysis was performed on Fisher's z values as effect sizes, using a random effect model. Publication bias, small study effect, and moderators in this association were assessed. Binge-watching was significantly associated with the five types of mental health concerns with the most robust correlations found with stress (0.32) and anxiety (0.25). Stronger associations between binge-watching and two types of mental health problems (depression and sleep problems) were found during the COVID-19 pandemic than before the pandemic. Moreover, stronger associations between binge-watching and two types of mental health problems (stress and sleep problems) were found in developing countries than in developed countries. The associations between binge-watching and mental health concerns were significant and positive. Programs and interventions to reduce binge-watching should be considered and tested.