Online Behavioral Addictions: Longitudinal Network Analysis and Invariance Across Men and Women

Zarate, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0002-1508-8637, Dorman, Genevieve, Prokofieva, Maria ORCID: 0000-0003-1974-3827, Morda, Romana ORCID: 0000-0001-8101-5287 and Stavropoulos, Vasileios ORCID: 0000-0001-6964-4662 (2023) Online Behavioral Addictions: Longitudinal Network Analysis and Invariance Across Men and Women. Technology, Mind, and Behavior, 4 (2). ISSN 2689-0208


Online activity has become increasingly prevalent worldwide, raising concerns about potential online behavioral addictions (e.g., problematic social media use, disordered online gambling, internet gaming disorder, and problematic internet use in general). The aim of this study was to conduct a longitudinal network analysis of symptoms associated with online behavioral addictions to examine their interrelations and potential differences across one’s biologically assigned gender (i.e., male, female). An online community sample of 462 adult participants (28.5% women, 69.5% men) completed self-rating questionnaires across two time-points one year apart. Participants’ responses were assessed with Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator regularized partial correlations (EBICglasso) and invariance methods. Gender differences were observed, with online gaming symptoms showing higher centrality in men and disordered social media use in women. Additionally, disordered gaming and internet use symptoms were highly influential, followed by online gambling, and social media use. Longitudinal differences were observed across genders, suggesting their different vulnerability to problematic behaviors associated with online activities. Additionally, mood modification associated with disordered internet use and impairment due to disordered gaming were highly influential in longitudinal measures, increasing the likelihood of developing coexisting or persistent symptoms of internet use disorders over time. Conclusions and implications are addressed considering the emerging literature.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1037/tmb0000105
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5203 Clinical and health psychology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords internet use disorders; longitudinal network analysis; measurement invariance; online behavioral addictions
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