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Article

A ‘Control Model’ of Social Media Engagement in Adolescence: A Grounded Theory Analysis

1
International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
2
Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4696; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234696
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 22 November 2019 / Published: 25 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotional and Behavioural Adjustment in Adolescence)
Adolescents actively use social media, which engages them cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally. However, the underlying psychological mechanisms of engagement have not been adequately addressed. The present study examined adolescents’ psychological processes as these develop in their everyday interactions via social media. The sample comprised six focus groups with 42 adolescents from UK-based schools. Data were analyzed using constructivist grounded theory. The resulting concepts related to individual, social, and structurally related processes, highlighting a synergy between the processes underlying use and a gradual reduction of control as individual, social, and structurally led processes emerge, conceptualized as the ‘control model’ of social media engagement. The findings highlight a controlling aspect in engagement and a dynamic interplay between the processes as mutually determining the quality and the intensity of the interaction. Recommendations are provided for examining control as a main emotional, cognitive, and behavioral mechanism in problematic and/or addictive social media and smartphone use. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescent social media use; adolescent smartphone use; problematic social media use; social media addiction; smartphone addiction adolescent social media use; adolescent smartphone use; problematic social media use; social media addiction; smartphone addiction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Throuvala, M.A.; Griffiths, M.D.; Rennoldson, M.; Kuss, D.J. A ‘Control Model’ of Social Media Engagement in Adolescence: A Grounded Theory Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4696. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234696

AMA Style

Throuvala MA, Griffiths MD, Rennoldson M, Kuss DJ. A ‘Control Model’ of Social Media Engagement in Adolescence: A Grounded Theory Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(23):4696. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234696

Chicago/Turabian Style

Throuvala, Melina A., Mark D. Griffiths, Mike Rennoldson, and Daria J. Kuss. 2019. "A ‘Control Model’ of Social Media Engagement in Adolescence: A Grounded Theory Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 23: 4696. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234696

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