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      Psychological risk factors of addiction to social networking sites among Chinese smartphone users

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          Abstract

          Background and aims: Smartphones allow users to access social networking sites (SNSs) whenever and wherever they want. Such easy availability and accessibility may increase their vulnerability to addiction. Based on the social cognitive theory (SCT), we examined the impacts of outcome expectancies, self-efficacy, and impulsivity on young Chinese smartphone users' addictive tendencies toward SNSs. Methods: Two hundred seventy-seven Macau young smartphone users (116 males and 161 females; mean age = 26.62) filled out an online Chinese questionnaire concerning their usage of social networking sites via smartphones, addiction tendencies toward SNSs, impulsivity trait, outcome expectancies toward the use, and Internet self-efficacy. Results: The findings revealed that those who spent more time on SNSs also reported higher addictive tendencies. Addictive tendencies were positively correlated with both outcome expectancies and impulsivity, but negatively associated with Internet self-efficacy. These three psychological variables explained 23% of the variance in addictive tendencies. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that, compared to demographics, psychological factors provide a better account for addictive tendencies towards SNSs among Chinese smartphone users in Macau. The three psychological risk factors were low Internet self-efficacy, favorable outcome expectancies, and high impulsivity trait. Educational campaigns with screening procedures for high-risk groups are recommended for effective prevention and treatment.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Social Foundation for thought and action: a social cognitive theory

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            Social foundation of thoughts and actions: A social cognitive theory

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              Genetic influences on impulsivity, risk taking, stress responsivity and vulnerability to drug abuse and addiction.

              Genetic variation may partially underlie complex personality and physiological traits--such as impulsivity, risk taking and stress responsivity--as well as a substantial proportion of vulnerability to addictive diseases. Furthermore, personality and physiological traits themselves may differentially affect the various stages of addiction, defined chronologically as initiation of drug use, regular drug use, addiction/dependence and potentially relapse. Here we focus on recent approaches to the study of genetic variation in these personality and physiological traits, and their influence on and interaction with addictive diseases.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Behav Addict
                jba
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                September 2013
                12 April 2013
                : 2
                : 3
                : 160-166
                Affiliations
                1University of Macau, Macau, China
                2Centennial College, Hong Kong, China
                Author notes
                *Corresponding Author: Dr. Anise M. S. Wu; Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomas Pereira, Taipa, Macau, China; anisewu@ 123456umac.mo
                Article
                jba.2.2013.006
                10.1556/JBA.2.2013.006
                4117295
                © 2013 Akadémiai Kiadó

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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