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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 4, 2015

Problematic internet use and social networking site use among Dutch adolescents

  • Lauren A. Jelenchick , Skyler T. Hawk and Megan A. Moreno EMAIL logo


Problematic Internet use (PIU), defined as Internet use that is risky, excessive, or impulsive in nature and leads to adverse life consequences, is an emerging health concern among adolescents worldwide. Social networking site (SNS) use is among the most popular and common Internet use activities for youth; however, risks of SNS use for PIU remain unexplored. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of adolescents at risk for PIU within a national school-based sample of Dutch adolescents and to explore associations between SNS use and PIU. Adolescents were recruited from six public schools in the Netherlands to complete a survey, which included SNS use questions and the Problematic and Risky Internet Use Screening Scale (PRIUSS). Logistic regression models were used to test associations between risk for PIU and demographic or SNS use variables. A total of 474 adolescents participated (98% response rate), and 11% (n=51) of adolescents were at risk for PIU. Risk for PIU was significantly associated with gender (p=0.015), increased age (p=0.034), and posting on SNS more than four times a day (p=0.003). Risk for PIU was not associated with number of SNS profiles, SNS preference or the number of online friends. Findings illustrate high risk groups for PIU includes males and older teens. Findings also illuminate that risk for PIU related to SNS was not associated with a specific SNS or number of SNSs used but was related to one’s personal investment in SNSs by posting four or more times a day.

Corresponding author: Megan A. Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Center for Child Health Behavior and Development, Seattle, WA, USA, Phone: 206-884-1424, Fax: 206-884-7801, E-mail: ; University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


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Received: 2014-10-10
Accepted: 2014-11-22
Published Online: 2015-2-4
Published in Print: 2016-2-1

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