Background and aims:
Past research on the associations between psychopathological symptoms and technological-based addictions, i.e., Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and Social Media Addiction (SMA), showed contradictory results in adolescents and adult populations. The present study investigated correlations between adolescents’ psychopathological risks and impulsivity, IGD and SMA. Methods:
A sample of 656 participants (338 males; Mage
= 16.32 years) was divided into three age groups (early, mid-, and late adolescence) and completed a battery of scales comprising the (i) Internet Gaming Disorder Scale–Short Form, (ii) Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale, (iii) Barratt Impulsiveness Scale for Adolescents, and (iv) Symptom Checklist-90-R. Results:
The significance of the correlations was not corroborated in the basic tables. Significant associations appeared only in the adolescent subgroups, sometimes for bivariate and sometimes for partial correlations and with different patterns of associations between males and females. Moreover, both technological addictions were correlated with impulsiveness in bivariate and partial correlations. Discussion and conclusions:
Following a developmentally-oriented approach to determine the patterns of associations between technological behavioral addictions and psychopathology in the specific sub-phases of early-, mid- and late-adolescence, this exploratory research showed how these associations might change depending on the developmental phase and gender of the individual. Future research is needed to provide empirical evidence of specific emotional–psychopathological correlations.
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