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      Autonomy Need Dissatisfaction in Daily Life and Problematic Mobile Phone Use: The Mediating Roles of Boredom Proneness and Mobile Phone Gaming

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          Psychological needs dissatisfaction has been identified as hindering adaptive development, in which autonomy need dissatisfaction, as one core component, may be associated with adolescents’ maladaptive online behaviors. Sporadic research has examined the association between autonomy need dissatisfaction and problematic mobile phone use (PMPU). Boredom proneness and mobile phone gaming were suggested to be linked to this association. This study aimed to examine the mediating effects of boredom proneness and mobile phone gaming in the association between autonomy need dissatisfaction and PMPU. A total of 358 secondary school students completed questionnaires at three waves; autonomy need dissatisfaction was measured in time 1 (T1); boredom proneness and mobile phone gaming were measured one year later (time 2, T2); PMPU was measured two years later (time 3, T3). The structural equation model results showed that T1 autonomy need dissatisfaction not only directly predicted T3 PMPU, but also exerted effects via the mediating role of T2 boredom proneness and the chain mediating role of T2 boredom proneness and T2 mobile phone gaming. These findings reveal the unique role of specific psychological need in engaging PMPU, which provides support to targeted interventions, such that promoting autonomy need satisfaction may be an instrumental procedure to prevent adolescents from addiction-like online behaviors.

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          Most cited references 53

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          A cognitive-behavioral model of pathological Internet use

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            Psychological predictors of problem mobile phone use.

            Mobile phone use is banned or illegal under certain circumstances and in some jurisdictions. Nevertheless, some people still use their mobile phones despite recognized safety concerns, legislation, and informal bans. Drawing potential predictors from the addiction literature, this study sought to predict usage and, specifically, problematic mobile phone use from extraversion, self-esteem, neuroticism, gender, and age. To measure problem use, the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale was devised and validated as a reliable self-report instrument, against the Addiction Potential Scale and overall mobile phone usage levels. Problem use was a function of age, extraversion, and low self-esteem, but not neuroticism. As extraverts are more likely to take risks, and young drivers feature prominently in automobile accidents, this study supports community concerns about mobile phone use, and identifies groups that should be targeted in any intervention campaigns.
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              Boredom proneness--the development and correlates of a new scale.

              This article reports the development, validation, and correlates of a self-report measure of boredom proneness. The 28-item Boredom Proneness (BP) Scale demonstrates satisfactory levels of internal consistency (coefficient alpha = .79) and test-retest reliability (r = .83) over a 1-week interval. Evidence of validity for the BP is supported by correlations with other boredom measures and from a set of studies evaluating interest and attention in the classroom. Other hypothesized relationships with boredom were tested, with significant positive associations found with depression, hopelessness, perceived effort, loneliness, and amotivational orientation. Additional findings indicate boredom proneness to be negatively related to life satisfaction and autonomy orientation. The relationship of boredom to other affective states is discussed, and directions for future research are outlined.

                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                23 July 2020
                August 2020
                : 17
                : 15
                [1 ]Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, National Demonstration Center for Experimental Psychology Education (Beijing Normal University), Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; psyhongwei@ (W.H.); jrh_psy@ (R.J.); fxc_psy@ (X.F.)
                [2 ]Graduate School of Education, Fordham University, New York, NY 10023, USA; yding4@
                [3 ]Institute of Psychological Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China; zhenrui1206@
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: rdliu@ ; Tel.: +86-10-58806324
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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