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Evidence Base

Does Life Satisfaction Mediate the Association between Socioeconomic Status and Excessive Internet Use?


socioeconomic status life satisfaction excessive Internet use adolescents

Publication details

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16203914
Issued: 2019
Language: English
Volume: 16
Issue: 20
Start Page: 3914
End Page: 3924
Authors: Urbanova L.; Holubcikova J.; Madarasova Geckova A.; Reijneveld S.; van Dijk J.
Type: Journal article
Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher: MDPI AG
Topics: Internet usage, practices and engagement; Risks and harms; Online safety and policy regulation; Access, inequalities and vulnerabilities
Sample: 2844 adolescents, age - 14.34; 50.5% boys.


Excessive Internet use is becoming a rapidly increasing problem in today’s society. Our aim was to assess the association between socioeconomic status (SES) of the family and excessive Internet use (EIU), and whether life satisfaction mediates this association. We analyzed data from a representative sample of 2844 Slovak adolescents (mean age 14.34, 50.5% boys) from the 2014 Health Behavior in School aged Children (HBSC) study, based on self-report questionnaires. We assessed the association of SES, measured by several indicators, such as perceived family wealth, parental education, and (un)employment, and adolescent EIU using linear regression, adding life satisfaction as a mediator. Adolescents whose father was unemployed and whose perceived family wealth was low tended to score higher on EIU. Neither gender nor age affected this relationship. Life satisfaction mediated a part of the association between SES and EIU in the case of low perceived family wealth and father’s (un)employment. Adolescents with a low SES are more likely to become excessive Internet users, and life satisfaction mediates this association. Prevention of EIU among adolescents should be targeted at those with low SES, with life satisfaction being the topic to address.


" The study explored the associations of family socioeconomic status with the excessive Internet use of Slovak adolescents and the potential mediating effect of life satisfaction on this relationship." (Urbanova, et al, 2019) The study found a lower level of socioeconomic status to be associated with a higher level of EIU among adolescents, Adolescents whose fathers were unemployed tended to report a higher level of excessive Internet use.
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