Does Life Satisfaction Mediate the Association between Socioeconomic Status and Excessive Internet Use?

Laura Bitto Urbanova, Jana Holubcikova, Andrea Madarasova Geckova, Sijmen A Reijneveld, Jitse P van Dijk

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Excessive Internet use is becoming a rapidly increasing problem in today's society. Our aim was to assess the association between socioeconomic status (SES) of the family and excessive Internet use (EIU), and whether life satisfaction mediates this association. We analyzed data from a representative sample of 2844 Slovak adolescents (mean age 14.34, 50.5% boys) from the 2014 Health Behavior in School aged Children (HBSC) study, based on self-report questionnaires. We assessed the association of SES, measured by several indicators, such as perceived family wealth, parental education, and (un)employment, and adolescent EIU using linear regression, adding life satisfaction as a mediator. Adolescents whose father was unemployed and whose perceived family wealth was low tended to score higher on EIU. Neither gender nor age affected this relationship. Life satisfaction mediated a part of the association between SES and EIU in the case of low perceived family wealth and father's (un)employment. Adolescents with a low SES are more likely to become excessive Internet users, and life satisfaction mediates this association. Prevention of EIU among adolescents should be targeted at those with low SES, with life satisfaction being the topic to address.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3914
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 15-Oct-2019

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