Sharon Jacob

Document Type


Publication Date



Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to a) estimate prevalence of pornography use and addiction in Rhode Island young adults; b) identify sociodemographic disparities; and c) determine if use and addiction was associated with mental illness. Methods: Data from n=1022 participants of the Rhode Island Young Adult Survey were used. Pornography use and addiction were assessed. Sociodemographic variables included age, social status, sex, gender, sexual orientation and race/ethnicity. Depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation were also measured. Results: 54% indicated pornography use; 6.2% met the criteria for addiction. Odds of pornography use were 5 times higher (95%CI=3.18,7.71), and addiction 13.4 times higher (95%CI=5.71,31.4) among heterosexual cis-males. Pornography addiction was associated with increased odds of depression (OR=1.92, 95%CI=1.04,3.49) and suicide ideation (OR=2.34, 95%CI=1.24,4.43). Conclusions: Pornography use is highly prevalent, and addiction may be associated with mental illness. New screenings, media literacy training, and developing new therapeutic interventions should be considered.

Faculty Mentor

Jonathan Noel, PhD, MPH

Academic Discipline

BS - Health Science



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