SOCIAL AND RELATIONAL ASPECTS ASSOCIATED TO THE MASSIVE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES IN ADOLESCENCE
Authors: Simona DE STASIO, Benedetta RAGNI, Eliana BUCCHI, Giulia ALTEA, Chiara BACILE
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Objectives. The main purposes of this study were to explore: a) the relationships between massive use of Social Networks sites (SNs) in adolescence, school burnout levels and friendship quality; b) gender differences in massive and problematic use of SNs.
Material and methods. A number of 140 Italian high school students (M=72.9%) aged 16-18 years participated in the study. Students were asked to complete self-report questionnaires: an ad-hoc scale for investigating SNs use, The Generalized Pathological Internet Use Scale-2 (GPIUS-2; Caplan, 2010), The Parent and Peer attachment inventory for Friendship Quality (Armsden and Greenberg, 1987), The School Burnout Inventory (SBI; Samlela-Aro et al., 2009).
Results. Results showed positive relationships between massive SNs use and friendship quality (r = .30, p < .01); compulsive SNs (GPIUS-2) use and school burnout total score (r = .25, p < .01); massive SNs use and female gender (r = .17, p < .05), and finally a positive relationship between SNs use for mood regulation and school burnout total score (r = .20, p < .05). Moreover, significant difference emerged between females and males in SNs massive use, with higher levels reported by females (M=23.55, DS=3.614) in comparison to males (M=21.89, DS=4.261); t(138)= -2.13, p < .05.
Conclusions. Overall, this study highlighted different dimensions that could influence SNs massive and problematic use in adolescence, specifically school burnout and friendship quality. Structuring interventions in order to promote socio-relational skills among peers and to prevent school-related burnout could prevent problematic use of SNs in adolescence.