Study of the Background Variables of Problematic Internet Use Among Youth: Risk and Protective Factors

Hedvig Kiss, B. Pikó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND AND AIMS OF THE STUDY: Increasing development of technology has changed the life of new generations in the last few decades. Internet and "smart devices" has become essential part of their everyday life. Beside its many benefits, extensive research has focused on potential risk factors that can increase an individual's likelihood of problematic internet use. However, there is a lack of papers about protective factors. We aimed to detect psychological variables that can act as protection in the background of problematic internet use among Hungarian youth. METHOD: The sample consisted of 249 youth (62.2% females, aged between 14 and 28 years, mean=22.5 years). Data were collected via internet using a self-reported online questionnaire hosted on It included demographic data; questions about daily hours of online activity and accessibility; and the Hungarian versions of eight scales about PIU, boredom proneness, sensation seeking, flow, self-control, self-esteem and resilience. RESULTS: Results indicate that age influences problematic internet use (r=-.223), but gender does not. Significant correlation was found between problematic internet use and resilience (r=-.274), self-control (r=-.283), self-esteem (r=-.188), and boredom proneness (r=.160). Using stepwise linear regression, six factors were detected in the background of problematic internet use: online activity on weekend (β=1.002), self-control (β=-.309), resilience, boredom proneness (β=.077), age (β=-.388), and online activity on weekdays (β=.621). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight a need for closer examination of psychological factors. Strengthening and developing psychological skills like self-control, self-esteem, resilience and finding exciting activities seem to be cardinal points in prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatria Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichiatriai Tarsasag tudomanyos folyoirata
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Study of the Background Variables of Problematic Internet Use Among Youth: Risk and Protective Factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this