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Behavioral and social aspects of addictive digital media behavior - Lissak, G. 2018

Consistent with the finding of decrease of gray matter among heavy media multi-taskers young adults, this population is characterized with more lapses of attention and self-reported everyday non-deliberate mind-wandering (Schutten, Stokes & Arnell, 2017). Non-deliberate mind-wandering is central to ADHD-related symptoms found among college students (Seli, Smallwood, Cheyne & Smilek, 2015) and is associated with lower trait levels of mindfulness and a higher rate of non-adaptive/negative thinking styles (Jonkman, Markus, Franklin & van Dalfsen, 2017). Non-adaptive/negative thinking styles are found in adolescents who are behaviorally addicted to the Internet and who are reported to have more depression, hostility and ADHD-related symptoms (Yen, Ko, Yen, Wu & Yang, 2007). Thus, it appears that greater mind-wandering corresponds to media addictive behavior, and if it is not apparent during adolescence it is found in young adulthood.

Heavy multitasking and screen-addicted adolescents were also found to have less social support and attachment with family and peers (Wu et al., 2016; Pea et al., 2012; Richards, McGee, Williams, Welch & Hancox, 2006). Consequently, their life satisfaction level is negatively affected (Boniel-Nissim et al., 2015; Mentzoni et al., 2011). While face-to-face communication is strongly related to positive social well-being (Pea et al.), adolescents are shifting away from this form of communication hindering offline social support. Then, to revive social support while in times of social difficulty, adolescents are inclined to immerse themselves in a vicious cycle of further use of Internet/social networks. However, the social support that they may find online serves to further maintain addictive Internet behavior. On the other hand, non-screen related social support may decrease the Internet addictive behavior (Wu et al.). A low level of social support, together with higher levels of mind wandering are likely to decrease social coping, increase the risk for further depression, isolation, and loneliness, a process which may further maintain addictive behavior (Andreassen et al., 2016). Furthermore, social and psychological factors, which are negatively affected by addictive screen usage, i.e., social support, attachment, mindfulness and level of life satisfaction, were also noted as crucial to the individual's resilience necessary to face life stressors (Pop, 2014; Sahin-Baltaci & Karatas, 2015; Nemati & Farnaz, 2016).

Finally, social aspects of addictive Internet behavior seem to converge around cyberbullying behavior. A study of 14-18-year-old students linked addictive Internet use to cyberbullying. Results demonstrated that Internet use time of more than six[o1]  daily hours together with high Internet addiction score predicted cyberbullying behavior (Nartgün & Cicioğlu, 2015). Excessive screen use such as six daily hours is reported to result in neuroanatomical changes which are related to decreased empathy, poor impulse control and emotional processing, and dysfunctional decision-making; all components which seem to lay the grounds for cyberbullying behavior.

 [o1]Should be 6

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