The role of life satisfaction in the associationbetween problematic technology use and anxietyin children and adolescents during the COVID-19pandemic
The main aim of this study is to explore problematic technology use among adolescents (Internet, video games, mobiles, and television) and its association with anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, we also analysed the possible moderating role of life satisfaction in this relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain. A cross-sectional survey of 4025 children and adolescents (52% females and 48% males) between 12 and 18 years old was carried out to explore problematic technology use and its correlation with anxiety and life satisfaction after pandemic lockdown. Four multivariate regressions containing the independent variable (problematic technology use), the moderator (life satisfaction), and their interaction were entered to predict the outcome (anxiety). The moderated models were examined using SPSS PROCESS macro software (Model 1). Analyses showed significant positive correlations with anxiety and negative correlations with life satisfaction regarding problematic technology use (mobile phone, television, and internet). Both gender and age had a significant direct effect on anxiety (showing that women and older participants had the greatest anxiety). In the moderation analysis, when life satisfaction was higher, the presence of anxiety symptoms depended to a greater extent on the problematic use of technology. Our results confirm that problematic technology use is related to higher levels of anxiety in adolescents, with differences by age and gender. The results also showed that life satisfaction mediated the relationship between technology abuse and anxiety, such that when life satisfaction was higher, the presence of anxiety symptoms was more dependent on problematic technology use. These findings have implications for health and education professionals.
© 2022 The Authors. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13077
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