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      A test of the pathway model of problematic smartphone use


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          Background and aims

          Problematic smartphone use (PSU) has been described as a growing public health issue. In the current study, we aimed to provide a unique and comprehensive test of the pathway model of PSU. This model posits three distinct developmental pathways leading to PSU: (1) the excessive reassurance pathway, (2) the impulsive pathway and (3) the extraversion pathway.


          Undergraduate students ( n = 795, 69.8% female, mean age = 23.80 years, sd = 3.02) completed online self-report measures of PSU (addictive use, antisocial use and dangerous use) and the psychological features (personality traits and psychopathological symptoms) underlying the three pathways.


          Bayesian analyses revealed that addictive use is mainly driven by the excessive reassurance pathway and the impulsive pathway, for which candidate etiopathological factors include heightened negative urgency, a hyperactive behavioural inhibition system and symptoms of social anxiety. Dangerous and antisocial use are mainly driven by the impulsive pathway and the extraversion pathway, for which candidate etiopathological factors include specific impulsivity components (lack of premeditation and sensation seeking) and primary psychopathy (inclination to lie, lack of remorse, callousness and manipulativeness).

          Discussion and conclusions

          The present study constitutes the first comprehensive test of the pathway model of PSU. We provide robust and original results regarding the psychological dimensions associated with each of the postulated pathways of PSU, which should be taken into account when considering regulation of smartphone use or tailoring prevention protocols to reduce problematic usage patterns.

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          Most cited references80

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          Research on human aggression has progressed to a point at which a unifying framework is needed. Major domain-limited theories of aggression include cognitive neoassociation, social learning, social interaction, script, and excitation transfer theories. Using the general aggression model (GAM), this review posits cognition, affect, and arousal to mediate the effects of situational and personological variables on aggression. The review also organizes recent theories of the development and persistence of aggressive personality. Personality is conceptualized as a set of stable knowledge structures that individuals use to interpret events in their social world and to guide their behavior. In addition to organizing what is already known about human aggression, this review, using the GAM framework, also serves the heuristic function of suggesting what research is needed to fill in theoretical gaps and can be used to create and test interventions for reducing aggression.
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            Factor structure of the barratt impulsiveness scale

            The purpose of the present study was to revise the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Version 10 (BIS-10), identify the factor structure of the items among normals, and compare their scores on the revised form (BIS-11) with psychiatric inpatients and prison inmates. The scale was administered to 412 college undergraduates, 248 psychiatric inpatients, and 73 male prison inmates. Exploratory principal components analysis of the items identified six primary factors and three second-order factors. The three second-order factors were labeled Attentional Impulsiveness, Motor Impulsiveness, and Nonplanning Impulsiveness. Two of the three second-order factors identified in the BIS-11 were consistent with those proposed by Barratt (1985), but no cognitive impulsiveness component was identified per se. The results of the present study suggest that the total score of the BIS-11 is an internally consistent measure of impulsiveness and has potential clinical utility for measuring impulsiveness among selected patient and inmate populations.
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              The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21): construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample.

              To test the construct validity of the short-form version of the Depression anxiety and stress scale (DASS-21), and in particular, to assess whether stress as indexed by this measure is synonymous with negative affectivity (NA) or whether it represents a related, but distinct, construct. To provide normative data for the general adult population. Cross-sectional, correlational and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The DASS-21 was administered to a non-clinical sample, broadly representative of the general adult UK population (N = 1,794). Competing models of the latent structure of the DASS-21 were evaluated using CFA. The model with optimal fit (RCFI = 0.94) had a quadripartite structure, and consisted of a general factor of psychological distress plus orthogonal specific factors of depression, anxiety, and stress. This model was a significantly better fit than a competing model that tested the possibility that the Stress scale simply measures NA. The DASS-21 subscales can validly be used to measure the dimensions of depression, anxiety, and stress. However, each of these subscales also taps a more general dimension of psychological distress or NA. The utility of the measure is enhanced by the provision of normative data based on a large sample.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                20 January 2021
                April 2021
                April 2021
                : 10
                : 1
                : 181-193
                [1 ] Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, University of Padova , Padova , Italy
                [2 ] Department of General Psychology, University of Padova , Padova , Italy
                [3 ] Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca , Milan , Italy
                [4 ] Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne , Lausanne , Switzerland
                Author notes
                [* ] Corresponding author. E-mail: natale.canale@ 123456unipd.it
                © 2020 The Author(s)

                Open Access . This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 80, Pages: 13

                problematic smartphone use,pathway model,undergraduate students,personality traits,psychopathological symptoms,bayesian analytical approach


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