Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-37943
Title: Problematic Internet Use among Adolescents 18 Months after the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author(s): Paulus, Frank W.
Joas, Jens
Gerstner, Ida
Kühn, Anna
Wenning, Markus
Gehrke, Thomas
Burckhart, Holger
Richter, Ulf
Nonnenmacher, Alexandra
Zemlin, Michael
Lücke, Thomas
Brinkmann, Folke
Rothoeft, Tobias
Lehr, Thorsten
Möhler, Eva
Language: English
Title: Children
Volume: 9
Issue: 11
Publisher/Platform: MDPI
Year of Publication: 2022
Free key words: problematic internet use
internet addiction
emotional dysregulation
DDC notations: 500 Science
610 Medicine and health
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: Studies in recent years and especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown a significant increase in the problematic use of computer games and social media. Adolescents having difficulties in regulating their unpleasant emotions are especially prone to Problematic Internet Use (PIU), which is why emotion dysregulation has been considered a risk factor for PIU. The aim of the present study was to assess problematic internet use (PIU) in adolescents after the third wave (nearly 1.5 years after the onset in Europe) of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the German region of Siegen-Wittgenstein, all students 12 years and older from secondary-level schools, vocational schools and universities were offered a prioritized vaccination in August 2021 with an approved vaccine against COVID-19. In this context, the participants filled out the Short Compulsive Internet Use Scale (SCIUS) and two additional items to capture a possible change in digital media usage time and regulation of negative affect due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A multiple regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of PIU. The original sample consisted of 1477 participants, and after excluding invalid cases the final sample size amounted to 1268 adolescents aged 12–17 (x = 14.37 years, SD = 1.64). The average prevalence of PIU was 43.69%. Gender, age, digital media usage time and the intensity of negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic were all found to be significant predictors of PIU: female gender, increasing age, longer digital media usage time and higher intensity of negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with higher SCIUS total scores. This study found a very high prevalence of PIU among 12- to 17-year-olds for the period after the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased significantly compared to pre-pandemic prevalence rates. PIU is emerging as a serious problem among young people in the pandemic. Besides gender and age, pandemic-associated time of digital media use and emotion regulation have an impact on PIU, which provides starting points for preventive interventions.
DOI of the first publication: 10.3390/children9111724
Link to this record: urn:nbn:de:bsz:291--ds-379438
ISSN: 2227-9067
Date of registration: 11-Nov-2022
Faculty: M - Medizinische Fakultät
NT - Naturwissenschaftlich- Technische Fakultät
Department: M - Neurologie und Psychiatrie
M - Pädiatrie
NT - Pharmazie
Professorship: M - Dr. med. Eva Möhler
M - Prof. Dr. Michael Zemlin
NT - Prof. Dr. Thorsten Lehr
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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