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Problematic Internet Use among University Students and Its Relationship with Social Skills

Internet use has been steadily and unstoppably gaining ground in all areas of life, from recreational activities to the establishment of social relations. However, addictive use of the Internet is a problem that seriously affects some people. Factors that may influence the occurrence of inappropriate internet use include age and social skills. For this reason, the aim of this study is to analyze the influence of social skills and age on the development of problematic internet use in university students. The study involved 514 students enrolled at a university in Spain, who filled in two questionnaires, one on problematic internet use and the other on social skills. Multivariate multiple linear regression models revealed that some social skills variables (conversation and social ease, empathic and positive feeling skills, risk coping) predicted problematic internet use. In addition, age played a role in preference for online social interaction and deficient self-regulation. Younger students were more at risk of having obsessive thoughts related to internet use and of engaging in compulsive internet use compared to older students.

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Authors: by Miriam Romero-López,Carmen Pichardo*, Isabel De Hoces and Trinidad García-Berbén
Department of Evolutive and Educational Psychology, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gergely Fehér, Gergely Darnai and Stefano Barlati