The Role of Perceived Loneliness in Youth Addictive Behaviors : Cross-National Survey Study

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Savolainen , I , Oksanen , A , Kaakinen , M , Sirola , A & Paek , H-J 2020 , ' The Role of Perceived Loneliness in Youth Addictive Behaviors : Cross-National Survey Study ' , Jmir mental health , vol. 7 , no. 1 , 14035 . https://doi.org/10.2196/14035

Title: The Role of Perceived Loneliness in Youth Addictive Behaviors : Cross-National Survey Study
Author: Savolainen, Iina; Oksanen, Atte; Kaakinen, Markus; Sirola, Anu; Paek, Hye-Jin
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Univ Tampere, University of Tampere, Fac Social Sci Logoped
University of Helsinki, Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy
Date: 2020-01-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Jmir mental health
ISSN: 2368-7959
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/326017
Abstract: Background: In the ever-growing and technologically advancing world, an increasing amount of social interaction takes place through the Web. With this change, loneliness is becoming an unprecedented societal issue, making youth more susceptible to various physical and mental health problems. This societal change also influences the dynamics of addiction. Objective: Employing the cognitive discrepancy loneliness model, this study aimed to provide a social psychological perspective on youth addictions. Methods: A comprehensive survey was used to collect data from American (N=1212; mean 20.05, SD 3.19; 608/1212, 50.17% women), South Korean (N=1192; mean 20.61, SD 3.24; 601/1192, 50.42% women), and Finnish (N=1200; mean 21.29, SD 2.85; 600/1200, 50.00% women) youths aged 15 to 25 years. Perceived loneliness was assessed with the 3-item Loneliness Scale. A total of 3 addictive behaviors were measured, including excessive alcohol use, compulsive internet use, and problem gambling. A total of 2 separate models using linear regression analyses were estimated for each country to examine the association between perceived loneliness and addiction. Results: Loneliness was significantly related to only compulsive internet use among the youth in all 3 countries (P Conclusions: The findings reveal existing differences between youths who spend excessive amounts of time online and those who engage in other types of addictive behaviors. Experiencing loneliness is consistently linked to compulsive internet use across countries, although different underlying factors may explain other forms of addiction. These findings provide a deeper understanding in the mechanisms of youth addiction and can help improve prevention and intervention work, especially in terms of compulsive internet use.
Subject: youth
problem behavior
excessive alcohol consumption
internet
gambling
loneliness
PROBLEMATIC INTERNET USE
OAKS GAMBLING SCREEN
ALCOHOL-USE
SOCIAL-ISOLATION
AUDIT-C
SCALE
ADOLESCENT
IDENTIFICATION
CONSUMPTION
DRINKING
5141 Sociology
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