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Problematic Internet use, often called Internet addiction, is a growing problem that has received increasing attention from clinicians and researchers. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship of mindful awareness and the manifestations of problematic Internet use from a cognitive behavioral perspective (i.e., preference for online social interactions, using the Internet for mood regulation, deficient self-regulation of Internet use, and negative outcomes) among adolescents. A total of 901 adolescents (546 girls; mean age = 15.81 years, SD = 1.00 year, range 14–18 years) completed measures of mindful awareness and problematic Internet use. The relationships among the variables were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Having a higher level of mindful awareness significantly decreases the probability of reporting a preference for online social interactions, using the Internet for mood regulation, deficient self-regulation, and negative outcomes of problematic Internet use. The relationships of mindful awareness with problematic Internet use components ranged from −.27 for preference for online social interactions to −.44 for negative outcomes. The results suggest that mindfulness may serve as a protective factor in the development of problematic Internet use. Emphasizing key mechanisms of mindfulness, such as increased self-awareness, identification of feelings and thoughts, and acceptance, may significantly contribute to the prevention and treatment of problematic Internet use and Internet addiction.
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- Assessing the Relationship between Mindful Awareness and Problematic Internet Use among Adolescents
- Springer US