This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review [What does this mean?].
Author(s) / Creator(s)
Pontes, Halley M.
Abstract / Description
The present study investigated the potential links between Internet Use Disorder tendencies and well-being. A sample of 2,498 participants filled out the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS, the cognitive facet of well-being) and the Sofalizing scale which comprises the Online Displacement and Social Compensation dimensions. Participants were also asked to report the extent to which changes in Internet use occurred due to COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., reductions, no changes, increases). The statistical analyses demonstrated that the aforementioned variables were robustly associated with each other. In a first mediation model, the association between higher levels of Internet Use Disorder and reduced well-being was partially mediated by the two dimensions of the Sofalizing scale, with Online Displacement exerting a negative influence on well-being and Social Compensation being positively linked with well-being. The results of the second mediation model showed that the relationship between changes in Internet use due to COVID-19 pandemic and well-being was fully mediated by CIUS scores, suggesting that increased Internet use due to the COVID-19 pandemic increased levels of Internet Use Disorder tendencies, which in turn decreased levels of well-being. The findings and their implications are further considered.