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Social anxiety moderates the links between excessive chatting and compulsive Internet use

Social anxiety moderates the links between excessive chatting and compulsive Internet use

Van Zalk, Nejra (2016) Social anxiety moderates the links between excessive chatting and compulsive Internet use. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 10 (3):3. ISSN 1802-7962 (Print), 1802-7962 (Online) (doi:10.5817/CP2016-3-3)

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Abstract

Excessive online chatting can lead to unwanted consequences such as compulsive Internet use over time. Not all adolescents use chatting for the same purpose, however, and these links may not be as pronounced for socially anxious adolescents as they likely communicate with others online in order to compensate for offline social inadequacies. The current study investigated whether social anxiety moderated the links between excessive chatting and compulsive Internet use over time. Using a sample of 523 early adolescents (269 girls; Mage = 14.00) from a 3-wave longitudinal study, the links between excessive chatting and compulsive Internet use were investigated via manifest autoregressive models, and moderating effects of social anxiety were tested via multiple-group comparison procedures. The results showed bidirectional links between excessive chatting and compulsive Internet use from Time 2–Time 3, as excessive chatting predicted more symptoms of compulsive Internet use, whereas compulsive Internet use predicted more excessive chatting – over and above the effects of gender. These links were present for adolescents low on social anxiety, but they were largely missing for highly socially anxious adolescents. Thus, social anxiety may have protective effects for early adolescents who spend too much time chatting online, as it may help reduce the risk of developing symptoms of compulsive Internet use.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The articles in Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace are open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited. The author of the work thus grants Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace a non-exclusive license and all publishing rights are therefore left to the author without any further restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social anxiety; Excessive chatting; Compulsive Internet use; Synchronous communication; Early adolescence
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Applied Psychology Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 12:26
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15906

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