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      To Each Stress Its Own Screen: A Cross-Sectional Survey of the Patterns of Stress and Various Screen Uses in Relation to Self-Admitted Screen Addiction

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          Abstract

          Background

          The relationship between stress and screen addiction is often studied by exploring a single aspect of screen-related behavior in terms of maladaptive dependency or the risks associated with the content. Generally, little attention is given to the pattern of using different screens for different types of stressors, and variations arising from the subjective perception of stress and screen addiction are often neglected. Given that both addiction and stress are complex and multidimensional factors, we performed a multivariate analysis of the link between individual’s subjective perceptions of screen addiction, various types of stress, and the pattern of screen usage.

          Objective

          Using the media-repertoires framework to study usage patterns, we explored (1) the relation between subjective and quantitative assessments of stress and screen addiction; and (2) differences in stress types in relation to subjective screen addiction and different types of needs for screens. We hypothesized that interindividual heterogeneity in screen-related behavior would reflect coping differences in dealing with different stressors.

          Methods

          A multifactorial Web-based survey was conducted to gather data about screen-related behaviors (such as screen time, internet addiction, and salience of different types of screens and related activities), and different sources of stress (emotional states, perceptual risks, health problems, and general life domain satisfaction). We performed group comparisons based on whether participants reported themselves as addicted to internet and games (A1) or not (A0), and whether they had experienced a major life stress (S1) or not (S0).

          Results

          Complete responses were obtained in 459 out of 654 survey responders, with the majority in the S1A0 (44.6%, 205/459) group, followed by S0A0 (25.9%, 119/459), S1A1 (19.8%, 91/459), and S0A1 (9.5%, 44/459). The S1A1 group was significantly different from S0A0 in all types of stress, internet overuse, and screen time ( P<.001). Groups did not differ in rating screens important for short message service (SMS) or mail, searching information, shopping, and following the news, but a greater majority of A1 depended on screens for entertainment (χ 2 3=20.5; P<.001), gaming (χ 2 3=35.6; P<.001), and social networking (χ 2 3=26.5; P<.001). Those who depended on screens for entertainment and social networking had up to 19% more emotional stress and up to 14% more perceptual stress. In contrast, those who relied on screens for work and professional networking had up to 10% higher levels of life satisfaction. Regression models including age, gender, and 4 stress types explained less than 30% of variation in internet use and less than 24% of the likelihood of being screen addicted.

          Conclusions

          We showed a robust but heterogeneous link between screen dependency and emotional and perceptual stressors that shift the pattern of screen usage toward entertainment and social networking. Our findings underline the potential of using ludic and interactive apps for intervention against stress.

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          Most cited references 78

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          Dynamics of a stressful encounter: cognitive appraisal, coping, and encounter outcomes.

          Despite the importance that is attributed to coping as a factor in psychological and somatic health outcomes, little is known about actual coping processes, the variables that influence them, and their relation to the outcomes of the stressful encounters people experience in their day-to-day lives. This study uses an intraindividual analysis of the interrelations among primary appraisal (what was at stake in the encounter), secondary appraisal (coping options), eight forms of problem- and emotion-focused coping, and encounter outcomes in a sample of community-residing adults. Coping was strongly related to cognitive appraisal; the forms of coping that were used varied depending on what was at stake and the options for coping. Coping was also differentially related to satisfactory and unsatisfactory encounter outcomes. The findings clarify the functional relations among appraisal and coping variables and the outcomes of stressful encounters.
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            A Theory of Rational Addiction

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              Internet Addiction: A New Clinical Phenomenon and Its Consequences

               K. S. Young (2004)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                J Med Internet Res
                J. Med. Internet Res
                JMIR
                Journal of Medical Internet Research
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                1439-4456
                1438-8871
                April 2019
                02 April 2019
                : 21
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ] PERFORM Centre Design and Computation Arts Concordia University Montreal, QC Canada
                [2 ] McGill Centre for Integrative Neuroscience Montreal Neurological Institute McGill University Montreal, QC Canada
                [3 ] PERFORM Centre Department of Mathematics and Statistics Concordia University Montreal, QC Canada
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Najmeh Khalili-Mahani najmeh.khalili-mahani@ 123456concordia.ca
                Article
                v21i4e11485
                10.2196/11485
                6465981
                30938685
                ©Najmeh Khalili-Mahani, Anna Smyrnova, Lisa Kakinami. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 02.04.2019.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/.as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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