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Health Psychol Behav Med. 2014 Jan 1;2(1):424-439. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Predicting Internet risks: a longitudinal panel study of gratifications-sought, Internet addiction symptoms, and social media use among children and adolescents.

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1
Centre for Communication & Public Opinion Survey, School of Journalism & Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong , Shatin , NT , Hong Kong.

Abstract

This study used longitudinal panel survey data collected from 417 adolescents at 2 points in time 1 year apart. It examined relationships between Internet risks changes in Time 2 and social media gratifications-sought, Internet addiction symptoms, and social media use all measured at Time 1. By controlling for age, gender, education, and criterion variable scores in Internet addiction at Time 1, entertainment and instant messaging use at Time 1 significantly predicted increased Internet addiction measured at Time 2. The study also controlled for demographics and scores of criterion variables in Internet risks: targeted for harassment, privacy exposed, and pornographic or violent content consumed in Time 1. Gratifications-sought (including status-gaining, expressing opinions, and identity experimentation), Internet addiction symptoms (including withdrawal and negative life consequences), and social media use (in particular, blogs, and Facebook) significantly predicted Internet risk changes in Time 2. These findings suggest that, with their predictive power, these predictors at Time 1 could be used to identify those adolescents who are likely to develop Internet addiction symptoms and the likelihood of experiencing Internet risks based on their previous gratifications-sought, previous addiction symptoms, and their habits of social media use at Time 1.

KEYWORDS:

Internet addiction symptoms; Internet risks; adolescents and children; gratifications-sought; social media

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