Problematic use of internet and new technologies in galician adolescents

  1. Gómez Salgado, Patricia
Dirigida por:
  1. Antonio Rial Boubeta Director
  2. Teresa Braña Tobío Directora

Universidad de defensa: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Fecha de defensa: 11 de diciembre de 2015

  1. Constantino Arce Fernández Presidente
  2. Jesús Rodríguez Rodríguez Secretario
  3. Maialen Sorkunde Garmendia Larrañaga Vocal
  4. Yolanda Rodríguez Castro Vocal
  5. Sergio Dominique Ferreira Lopes Vocal
  1. Departamento de Psicología Social, Básica y Metodología

Tipo: Tesis


The most recent data bring to light an increasing and extensive Internet use among our current society as a whole and among the adolescents in particular. Without compromising the undoubted benefits of the Net, some clear evidences of an Internet’s dark side have been found too. The problematic Internet use is specifically one of these new realities that affect today’s adolescents. It is in this complex context that the present doctoral dissertation is framed within and, by extension, the line of research, initiated by our research group PSICOM in 2010. Addressing the problematic Internet use in Galician adolescents involves responding to three problems that, in our view, coexist in this research field: a theoretical or conceptual problem, a problem of evaluation, and a third problem understanding of the phenomenon, and identification of underlying variables. Meanwhile, beyond these three particular objectives, this doctoral dissertation was conceived with a marked applied perspective. Its final purpose is no other than trying to make a modest contribution to, developing effective prevention strategies supported by scientific research. An enormous effort at the empirical level, reflected in the realization of three studies with 2339, 1709, and 44051 adolescents respectively, has enabled to respond these initial objectives. This doctoral dissertation as a compendium of four published papers and, by extension, the line of research to which it belongs found that Internet use among adolescents is an increasing reality rather than a fad. Moreover, it has been noticed that it is a globalized phenomenon that has a dark or problematic side. Regarding the theoretical or conceptual controversies, the adoption of the problematic Internet use term is proposed as the most practical solution. In the evaluation field, the different phases of the present research have resulted in the presentation of a new scale (PIUS-a) available for professionals and researchers, with psychometric support, and that allows for a rapid screening of problematic Internet users among adolescents. In addition, the utilization of this scale allows for estimating prevalence rates in different populations and keeping track of the problem, as an efficacy indicator of different preventive actions or strategies. The problematic Internet use has been found to be so globalized as the use of Internet, which means an additional difficulty in regards to prevention. Although some sociodemographic differences might be pointed out, there are other relevant elements that permit a more powerful post hoc segmentation. The different segments found through a cluster analysis reflect profiles whose essential differences lie precisely in their attitudes towards Internet use, their motivations, or their parent’s involvement. These results put the spotlight on education, which is a shared responsibility among parents, schools and institutions. The presentation of this dissertation represents only a step to keep moving forward in the development of our research line. The preoccupation for achieving responses and resolutions does not stop here. Pending challenges, mainly regarding modelling and prevention work, are included in the PSICOM agenda.