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Article

Online Relationships and Social Media Interaction in Youth Problem Gambling: A Four-Country Study

1
Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, 33014 Tampere, Finland
2
Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
3
Department of Social Research, University of Turku, 20500 Turku, Finland
4
Department of Psychology, University of Córdoba, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
5
Department of Advertising & Public Relations, Hanyang University, Ansan 15588, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218133
Received: 6 August 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 30 October 2020 / Published: 3 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gambling Disorder: Challenges in Diagnosis, Etiology and Treatment)
The objective of this study was to examine if belonging to online communities and social media identity bubbles predict youth problem gambling. An online survey was administered to 15–25-year-old participants in the United States (N = 1212), South Korea (N = 1192), Spain (N = 1212), and Finland (N = 1200). The survey measured two dimensions of online behavior: perceived sense of belonging to an online community and involvement in social media identity bubbles. Belonging to an online community was examined with a single item and involvement in social media identity bubbles was measured with the six-item Identity Bubble Reinforcement Scale. The South Oaks Gambling Screen was used to assess problem gambling. Statistical analyses utilized linear regression modeling. According to the analyses, strong sense of belonging to an online community was associated with higher problem gambling, but the association was observed mainly among those young individuals who were also involved in social media identity bubbles. For those youths who did not indicate identity bubble involvement, online relationships appeared to function as those offline. Some differences across the four countries were observed but overall, the results indicate that social media identity bubbles could partly explain the harmful influence that some online relations have on youth behavior. View Full-Text
Keywords: problem gambling; online relationships; social media interaction; youth problem gambling; online relationships; social media interaction; youth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Savolainen, I.; Kaakinen, M.; Sirola, A.; Koivula, A.; Hagfors, H.; Zych, I.; Paek, H.-J.; Oksanen, A. Online Relationships and Social Media Interaction in Youth Problem Gambling: A Four-Country Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8133. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218133

AMA Style

Savolainen I, Kaakinen M, Sirola A, Koivula A, Hagfors H, Zych I, Paek H-J, Oksanen A. Online Relationships and Social Media Interaction in Youth Problem Gambling: A Four-Country Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):8133. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218133

Chicago/Turabian Style

Savolainen, Iina, Markus Kaakinen, Anu Sirola, Aki Koivula, Heli Hagfors, Izabela Zych, Hye-Jin Paek, and Atte Oksanen. 2020. "Online Relationships and Social Media Interaction in Youth Problem Gambling: A Four-Country Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 8133. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218133

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