Depression, Social Support and Problematic Internet Use. Longitudinal Study.
O. Orosova1, R. Sebena2, J. Benka1, B. Gajdosova1, A. Janovska1
1PJ Safarik University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Educational Psychology and Health Psychology, Kosice, Slovak Republic
2PJ Safarik University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology, Kosice, Slovak Republic
Background: The main aims of this study were to explore (1) the associations between depression, perceived social support (PSS) and generalized problematic internet use (GPIU), (2) the mediating effect of PSS on the relationship between depression and GPIU within a longitudinal design (SliCE study, www.slice-study.eu). Methods: A total sample of 814 university freshmen (T1), and 237 students (after one year period T2, 29.1% students of T1, 73.5% females, SD=3.67) completed an on-line questionnaire measuring GPIU, depression and PSS. The analyses were carried out using Linear regression (changes in depression and PSS between T1 and T2 were entered as independent variables and changes in GPIU between T1 and T2 were entered as the dependent variable in the model) which was followed by the Sobel test. Findings: Increased depression was associated with increased GPIU (beta=0.216, p<0.01), decreased PSS was associated with increased GPIU (beta=-0.197, p<0.05). The PSS changes were found to mediate the effect of depression on GPIU changes (Sobel test=-1.75, p<0.05). Discussion: The results support the importance of social support in GPIU prevention.