Problematic computer use in adolescence

Problematic computer use is the use of computer technology that may be health-endangering and may cause immediate or later negative physical or psychological health outcomes or disturb well-being in users.

Fig. 1. Most frequent behaviors how adolescents try to cope with cyberbullying

Fig. 1. Most frequent behaviors how adolescents try to cope with cyberbullying

It covers plenty of areas, for example, (1) dependence on contact with computers or other computer-related technology, causing an excessive portion of time each day being spent in interaction with computers or other computer-related technology, for example, Internet addiction, heavy computer use, computer overuse, (2) maladaptive cognitions associated with computer use, for example, obsessive thoughts about computer use, (3) stress or negative emotional states experienced when person is using a computer or imagining future computer use, for example, technophobia, technostress, computer anxiety and (4) negative communication, threatening and bullying via the online virtual environment, for example, cyberbullying.

Our study reviews the issue of coping in relation to problematic Internet use, computer overuse and cyberbullying. We determined the most frequent behaviors how adolescents try to cope with cyberbullying (see Fig. 1). Further, this study revealed relationships between problematic computer use, situational coping and dispositional coping (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Model of relationships between problematic computer use, situational coping and dispositional coping.

Fig. 2. Model of relationships between problematic computer use, situational coping and dispositional coping.

The results of the present study may be useful for clinical psychologists and counsellors treating computer addicts or Internet addicts. The information taken together in the present review brings better insight into computer and Internet addictions and their relation to the coping skills of adolescents. For example, some of coping styles were reported to be predictors of problematic Internet use. This means that people using particular coping strategies could develop problematic Internet use more likely than others. These findings are very important, because they may help clinicians identify clients that are more prone to cope ineffectively with stress related to their Internet addictions.

Focusing on personal coping styles may therefore be of crucial significance for therapeutic treatment dealing with negative health outcomes related to problematic computer use.

 

Publication

An integrative review of coping related to problematic computer use in adolescence.
Trnka R, Martínková Z, Tavel P.
Int J Public Health. 2015 May 27

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