About the Project

The project aims to systematically analyse how digital stress (as a social phenomenon) is discussed publicly. The project focuses on the following questions:


Which media actually deal with digital stress? How is it described, i.e. which affected groups and environments, causes and symptoms are addressed? And which specific subsequent health issues, but also which possible prevention measures, are discussed?


  1. In a first step, a conceptual field analysis explores in which media and under which terms digital stress is addressed.
  2. Based on this, a qualitative content analysis of relevant online forums will be conducted in order to examine how digital stress presents itself from the perspective of those affected and which coping strategies they recommend.
  3. In addition to the individual perspective, a quantitative content analysis of the depiction of digital stress in mass media will be conducted. It focuses on environments in which stress arises, characteristics of the described digital stress and attributes of persons affected by digital stress (stereotypes, etc.). It will be analyzed to what extent media coverage follows classical media logics (e.g., stereotypes) or current research findings on digital stress.


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Susanne Kinnebrock

Project Manager: Dr. Cordula Nitsch, Hanna-Sophie Rueß

Project Duration: 2019-2023

Funding: The Bavarian Research Association ForDigitHealth

Links and Downloads

Link to the website of the The Bavarian Research Association

Presentations and Publications


Nitsch, C., & Kinnebrock, S. (2023). “I Urgently Need Your Advice”—Digital Stress Experiences and Social Support in Online Forums. International Journal of Communication, 17 (2023), 4037– 4056.


Nitsch, C. & Kinnebrock, S. (2021). Well-known phenomenon, new setting: Digital stress in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. SCM – Studies in Communication and Media, 10(4), 533–556. doi: 10.5771/2192-4007-2021-4-533


Kaltenegger, H., Nitsch, C., & Scholze, T. (2021). Gesund digital leben in einer vielfältigen Gesellschaft: Welche Faktoren beeinflussen Wahrnehmung und Erleben von digitalem Stress? 15. April 2021. Available at: https://scilogs.spektrum.de/gesund-digital-leben/gesund-digital-leben-in-einer-vielfaltigen-gesellschaft-welche-faktoren-beeinflussen-wahrnehmung-und-erleben-von-digitalem-stress/


Kinnebrock, S. (2020). Mediale Kommunikation verbindet - gerade in der Coronakrise. Aviso: Magazin für Wissenschaft und Kunst in Bayern, 24(3), 26-29.      


Kinnebrock, S. & Nitsch, C. (2020). „Ganz schön sozial-medial erschöpft...“ Eine qualitative Inhaltsanalyse über digitalen Stress und immanente Genderbezüge. Medien und Kommunikationswissenschaft, 68(3), 288-303. https://doi.org/10.5771/1615-634X-2020-3-288


Nitsch, C. (2020). Digitaler Stress als Medienthema: Was erfahren wir über digitalen Stress aus den Medien und warum sollte uns das interessieren? 15. Juli 2020. Available at: https://scilogs.spektrum.de/gesund-digital-leben/digitaler-stress-als-medienthema-was-erfahren-wir-uber-digitalen-stress-aus-den-medien-und-warum-sollte-uns-das-interessieren/



Nitsch, C. & Kinnebrock, S. (2022, October). "I urgently need your advice” – Recommended coping strategies for digital stress in online forums". Presentation at the 8th European Communication Conference (ECREA), 19.-22. October 2022, Aarhus, Dänemark.


Nitsch, C. & Kinnebrock, S. (2022, October). Krankheiten als Zeitdiagnosen? Die mediale Konstruktion der Managerkrankheit als Männerleiden in der frühen Bundesrepublik. Presentation at the DGPuK-Fachgruppentagung "Medien, Öffentlichkeit und Geschlecht“. 5.-7. October 2022, Augsburg.


Nitsch, C. & Kinnebrock, S. (2022, May). Digitally stressed out. An analysis of individual stress experiences and social support in online forums. Presentation at the 72nd anual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 26.-30. May 2022, Paris.


Nitsch, C. (2021, November). Krank durch Medien? Wie veränderte Kommunikation zu digitalem Stress führen kann. Presentation at the academic forum of the bishopric Augsburg, 30. November 2021.


Nitsch, C. & Kinnebrock, S. (2021, September). „Und währenddessen schnattert meine Kleine“. Differentielle Stresswahrnehmungen im Homeoffice während der Corona-Pandemie. Presentation at the anual conference of the DGPuK-Group „International and crosscultural communication“ and „Media, Public and Gender“. 22.-24. September 2021, Magdeburg.


Nitsch, C. & Kinnebrock, S. (2021, September). From managerial disease to digital burnout. Media discourses about stress and social change in Germany. Presentation at the 7th European Communication Conference (ECREA), 6.-9. September 2021, Braga, Portugal.

Kinnebrock, S. (2019, October). Digitaler Stress – ein Frauenproblem? Zum Gendering in der Berichterstattung über psychische Belastungen und neue Medientechnologien. Presentation at the anual conference of the DGPuK-Group „Media, Public and Gender“, 2.-4. October 2019, Münster.


Other Publications:

Kinnebrock, S., & Nitsch, C. (2021, 04. May). #10 Digitaler Stress [Audio Podcast]. In Highways to Health. Online available at: https://highways2health.de/podcast/10-digitaler-stress.html.


Public Communication
Researcher and PhD candidate
Public Communication