Previous studies on smartphone use motivation (SUM) and problematic smartphone use (PSU) have been limited in the utilization of regional samples of emerging adults (e.g., college students) and also in the foci on the direct association between SUM and PSU. To address such gaps, using data from a large, national representative sample of Chinese young adolescents and their parents this study examined the associations between adolescents' various types of SUM and their PSU, and also tested the potential mediating roles of smartphone use time (SUT) that adolescents spent on various activities in such associations.
A nationwide representative sample of 8,261 Chinese adolescents (Mage = 12.86 years old, SD = 1.76; 42.6% females) and their parents (49% mothers) participated in this survey study.
Instrumental SUM (i.e., to expand knowledge or acquire information) was associated negatively with PSU via longer SUT spent on learning and shorter SUT spent on entertainment and communication. Self-expression SUM (i.e., to gain acceptance and recognition of others by maintaining or improving self-images) was associated with longer SUT spent on both learning and entertainment, which, in turn, predicted lower and higher levels of PSU, respectively. Last, hedonic SUM (i.e., to gain pleasure) was associated positively with PSU via longer SUT spent on entertainment and communication.
These findings contribute to the literature by adding greater specificity in our understanding of the implications of SUM and SUT in the etiology of PSU during the critical life stage of adolescence in a Chinese cultural context.
Authors:Shan-Shan Ma, Chiang-Shan R. Li, Sheng Zhang, Patrick D. Worhunsky, Nan Zhou, Jin-Tao Zhang, Lu Liu, Yuan-Wei Yao, and Xiao-Yi Fang
Background and aims
Deficits in cognitive control represent a core feature of addiction. Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) offers an ideal model to study the mechanisms underlying cognitive control deficits in addiction, eliminating the confounding effects of substance use. Studies have reported behavioral and neural deficits in reactive control in IGD, but it remains unclear whether individuals with IGD are compromised in proactive control or behavioral adjustment by learning from the changing contexts.
Here, fMRI data of 21 male young adults with IGD and 21 matched healthy controls (HC) were collected during a stop-signal task. We employed group independent component analysis to investigate group differences in temporally coherent, large-scale functional network activities during post-error slowing, the typical type of behavioral adjustments. We also employed a Bayesian belief model to quantify the trial-by-trial learning of the likelihood of stop signal – P(Stop) – a broader process underlying behavioral adjustment, and identified the alterations in functional network responses to P(Stop).
The results showed diminished engagement of the fronto-parietal network during post-error slowing, and weaker activity in the ventral attention and anterior default mode network in response to P(Stop) in IGD relative to HC.
Discussion and conclusions
These results add to the literatures by suggesting deficits in updating and anticipating conflicts as well as in behavioral adjustment according to contextual information in individuals with IGD.