Background: During the lockdown due to COVID-19, Internet use may become more frequent in students, with possible negative consequences on mental health. In this emergency situation, variables such as depression, anxiety and external locus of control could be related to a Problematic Internet Use; on the other hand, self-esteem, internal locus of control, self-efficacy, and social support can play the role of protective factors for Problematic Internet Use. The present survey aims to verify the impact of these intrapersonal and social factors on Problematic Internet Use in college and High School students during the COVID-19 pandemic through a web-based cross-sectional study. Subjects and methods: 191 students from Lombardy, one of the Italian Regions among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, were included in the study. An online questionnaire has been administered during the first Italian period of forced lockdown. A logistic regression analysis was performed to assess intrapersonal and social factors as predictors of Problematic Internet Use. Results: Analysis highlighted a higher risk of Problematic Internet Use (5.77 times more) in males compared to females. Individuals with high external locus of control and severe depression have respectively 6.56 and 2.84 times more the risk of presenting Problematic Internet Use. In contrast, social support, self-efficacy, and self-esteem were negatively related to Problematic Internet Use. In total sample, the percentage of Problematic Internet Use was high (55.5%). Conclusions: An increasing use of the Internet has been observed during lockdown, leading to a progressive increase in the diffusion of Problematic Internet Use. Gender, depression and external locus of control emerge as risk factors for Problematic Internet Use, while social support, self-efficacy and self-esteem represent protective factors. The current research identifies some intrapersonal and social factors in an epidemic context for which the development of effective behavioural, supportive and/or educational interventions would be appropriate.

Intrapersonal and Social Factors for Problematic Internet Use among Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic / R. Truzoli, V. Pirola, L. Celebre, E. Piccoli, S. Vanzetto, D. Conti, F. Fasciana, G. Casazza. - In: PSYCHIATRIA DANUBINA. - ISSN 0353-5053. - 33:Suppl 10(2021 Sep), pp. 144-154.

Intrapersonal and Social Factors for Problematic Internet Use among Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic

R. Truzoli
Primo
;
V. Pirola
Secondo
;
E. Piccoli;S. Vanzetto;D. Conti;F. Fasciana
Penultimo
;
G. Casazza
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Background: During the lockdown due to COVID-19, Internet use may become more frequent in students, with possible negative consequences on mental health. In this emergency situation, variables such as depression, anxiety and external locus of control could be related to a Problematic Internet Use; on the other hand, self-esteem, internal locus of control, self-efficacy, and social support can play the role of protective factors for Problematic Internet Use. The present survey aims to verify the impact of these intrapersonal and social factors on Problematic Internet Use in college and High School students during the COVID-19 pandemic through a web-based cross-sectional study. Subjects and methods: 191 students from Lombardy, one of the Italian Regions among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, were included in the study. An online questionnaire has been administered during the first Italian period of forced lockdown. A logistic regression analysis was performed to assess intrapersonal and social factors as predictors of Problematic Internet Use. Results: Analysis highlighted a higher risk of Problematic Internet Use (5.77 times more) in males compared to females. Individuals with high external locus of control and severe depression have respectively 6.56 and 2.84 times more the risk of presenting Problematic Internet Use. In contrast, social support, self-efficacy, and self-esteem were negatively related to Problematic Internet Use. In total sample, the percentage of Problematic Internet Use was high (55.5%). Conclusions: An increasing use of the Internet has been observed during lockdown, leading to a progressive increase in the diffusion of Problematic Internet Use. Gender, depression and external locus of control emerge as risk factors for Problematic Internet Use, while social support, self-efficacy and self-esteem represent protective factors. The current research identifies some intrapersonal and social factors in an epidemic context for which the development of effective behavioural, supportive and/or educational interventions would be appropriate.
Communicable Disease Control; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Internet Use; Male; Pandemics; SARS-CoV-2; Social Factors; Students; Behavior, Addictive; COVID-19;
Settore M-PSI/08 - Psicologia Clinica
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/881986
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