Adolescent Risk Behaviors: Harm from Social Networking and Alcohol Use

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 22837

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
Interests: adolescents’ social and personality development; adolescent cyberpsychology and behavior; psychological development of disadvantaged children
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Psychology, Shan Dong Normal University, Jinan 250061, China
Interests: cyberpsychology and behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Educational Science, Shan Xi University, Taiyuan 030091, China
Interests: cyberpsychology and behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

As a generation of digital natives, adolescents have always been the main users of social networks. While social networking apps and websites are convenient for adolescent socialization and life, they are also full of potentially harmful information (e.g., regarding alcohol and tobacco). Numerous studies have shown that risk behaviors have negative effects on the physical, psychological and social adaptation of adolescents. Therefore, the influencing factors of adolescent risk behaviors have always been the focus of researchers. Adolescents with immature mental development are vulnerable to the negative impact of harmful information on social networking sites, resulting in risky behaviors such as alcohol use. Compared with traditional media, social networking sites not only contain a large number of susceptibility conditions, such as celebrity demonstrations and advertisements of risk behaviors, but also include the attitudes and usage of peers towards risk behaviors. How does the content on social networking sites affect adolescents’ attitudes and behaviors towards risk behaviors? At the same time, apart from passively accepting the influence of bad information from social networking sites, social networking sites give teenagers the opportunity to actively interact with information, such as liking, commenting on and collecting such information. Will the behavior in social networking sites enhance the impact of potentially harmful information on adolescents’ risk behavior? In addition to addressing these questions, researchers should also focus on finding protective factors and feasible interventions. In response to these problems, this Special Issue aims to focus on the influencing mechanisms and protective factors of adolescent social network use and risk behaviors (alcohol, tobacco, etc.), in order to reduce the likelihood of adolescent risk behaviors and the impact of negative messages.

Prof. Dr. Xiaojun Sun
Prof. Dr. Lei Han
Prof. Dr. Xingchao Wang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • adolescent
  • social networking
  • social network sites
  • risk behaviors
  • alcohol use

Published Papers (10 papers)

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13 pages, 812 KiB  
Article
Social Networking Site Use and Emotional Eating Behaviors among Chinese Adolescents: The Effects of Negative Social Comparisons and Perspective-Taking
by Shan Sun, Siying Chen, Zian Wang, Yan Xiong and Shixuan Xie
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090768 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Emotional eating has emerged as a significant disordered eating and public health concern among adolescents. Despite the widespread prevalence of social networking site (SNS) use among this population, research investigating the influence of SNS use on adolescent eating behaviors remains limited. This study [...] Read more.
Emotional eating has emerged as a significant disordered eating and public health concern among adolescents. Despite the widespread prevalence of social networking site (SNS) use among this population, research investigating the influence of SNS use on adolescent eating behaviors remains limited. This study is to examine the impact of SNS use on emotional eating among Chinese adolescents, with a specific focus on exploring the mediating role of negative social comparisons and the moderating effect of perspective-taking. Data were obtained through an online survey involving 778 middle school students in China. The findings indicate that SNS use exerts a positive influence on adolescents’ engagement in emotional eating, with this association being mediated by the presence of negative social comparisons. Perspective-taking demonstrated a protective role in the context of adolescents’ utilization of social media platforms. For individuals characterized by high levels of perspective-taking, the effects of SNS use on negative social comparisons are mitigated, subsequently reducing its impact on emotional eating. Full article
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14 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Social Network Use on Chinese College Students’ Conspicuous Consumption: A Moderated Mediation Model
by Lei Xu, Zhaoxizi Lu, Lingyun Wang, Jiwen Chen, Lan Tian, Shuangshuang Cai and Shun Peng
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090732 - 01 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1236
Abstract
This study explored the effects of social networking site use intensity, upward social comparison, and optimism on college students’ conspicuous consumption and their mechanisms of action using a sample of Chinese college students. A total of 717 Chinese college students (M = 20.08, [...] Read more.
This study explored the effects of social networking site use intensity, upward social comparison, and optimism on college students’ conspicuous consumption and their mechanisms of action using a sample of Chinese college students. A total of 717 Chinese college students (M = 20.08, SD = 1.44; 73.9% female) completed the Social Network Use Intensity Scale, the Upward Social Comparison Scale, the Life Orientation Test, and the Conspicuous Consumption Scale. The results indicate that (1) the intensity of use of social networking sites significantly positively predicts the conspicuous consumption behavior of college students; (2) upward social comparison plays a mediating role between the intensity of social networking site usage and conspicuous consumption; and (3) optimism moderates the second half of the mediating path between the intensity of social networking site use, upward social comparison, and conspicuous consumption. Specifically, the relationship between upward social comparison and conspicuous consumption among college students with low optimism levels is stronger than that among college students with high levels of optimism. Intensity has a stronger positive effect on conspicuous consumption through upward social comparison. It is concluded that the intensity of college students’ use of social networking sites can affect their conspicuous consumption behavior through upward social comparison, and this relationship is moderated by optimism. The results of the study help to reveal the influence of SNS (social networking site) use behavior on conspicuous consumption and its mechanism of action and have implications for reducing the negative impact of conspicuous consumption on college students. Full article
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15 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Active Parental Mediation and Adolescent Problematic Internet Use: The Mediating Role of Parent–Child Relationships and Hiding Online Behavior
by Jingjing Liu, Li Wu, Xiaojun Sun, Xuqing Bai and Changying Duan
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13080679 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
In today’s information society, with the growing integration of the Internet into individuals’ lives, problematic Internet use (PIU) among adolescents has become more prevalent. Therefore, we conducted this study to investigate the correlation between active parental mediation and PIU in adolescents, as well [...] Read more.
In today’s information society, with the growing integration of the Internet into individuals’ lives, problematic Internet use (PIU) among adolescents has become more prevalent. Therefore, we conducted this study to investigate the correlation between active parental mediation and PIU in adolescents, as well as the potential mediating roles of parent–child relationship and adolescents’ hiding online behavior. A total of 539 middle school students (mean age = 13.384) were recruited for this study and participated by completing a series of paper-and-pencil questionnaires. The findings indicated a significant negative relationship between active parental mediation and PIU. Furthermore, both the mediating role of the parent–child relationship and the role of hiding online behavior were found to be significant. Specifically, the mediating role is comprised of two paths: the independent mediating role of the parent–child relationship, and the sequential mediating role involving both the parent–child relationship and hiding online behavior. The study contributes an innovative theoretical perspective to deepen the understanding of the formation mechanism of PIU. Moreover, it offers practical empirical insights for the prevention and intervention of PIU among adolescents. Full article
12 pages, 886 KiB  
Article
The Role of Coping Styles in Mediating the Dark Triad and Bullying: An Analysis of Gender Difference
by Fangjing Xia, Mengjun Liu and Tour Liu
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13070532 - 26 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Recently, the phenomenon of school bullying has gradually become a primary focus of social attention. To reduce the occurrence of bullying, it is important that we explore the psychological mechanisms of students with bullying tendencies. We conducted mediation models through a multi-group analysis [...] Read more.
Recently, the phenomenon of school bullying has gradually become a primary focus of social attention. To reduce the occurrence of bullying, it is important that we explore the psychological mechanisms of students with bullying tendencies. We conducted mediation models through a multi-group analysis to verify the mediating effect of coping styles on the relationship between dark personality traits and bullying, and further explored the differences in this mechanism between male and female groups. The participants were 772 high school students recruited from a middle school in Tianjin, China. They completed a set of self-reported measurements including the Dirty Dozen (DD), Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire (SCSQ), Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ), and Reactive–Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (RPQ). All the measurement instruments have acceptable reliability and validity. The results of the multi-group multiple models indicated that (1) there are significant gender differences in bullying behavior, with males scoring significantly higher than females. Moreover, the gender difference was only reflected in proactive aggression, in which males had higher scores than females; there was no significant gender difference in reactive aggression. (2) In the group of females, both negative and positive coping styles partially moderated the relationship between the Dark Triad and bullying. However, in the group of males, only negative coping styles partially mediated the relationship between the Dark Triad and bullying. (3) The above results also held for proactive aggression. In conclusion, our study highlights the gender differences in the mediating effect of coping styles on the relationship between the Dark Triad and bullying and proactive aggression. These findings contribute to better shared understanding of gender-related aspects in school bullying. Full article
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11 pages, 949 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Just-World Beliefs on Cyberaggression: A Moderated Mediation Model
by Qingsong Sang, Qi Kang, Kun Zhang, Shouli Shu and Lijuan Quan
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060500 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
(1) Background: To examine the relationship among just-world beliefs, self-control, and cyberaggression among college students. (2) Methods: A total of 1133 college students were surveyed using the just-world belief scale, self-control scale, and cyberaggression scale. (3) Results: The results showed that college students [...] Read more.
(1) Background: To examine the relationship among just-world beliefs, self-control, and cyberaggression among college students. (2) Methods: A total of 1133 college students were surveyed using the just-world belief scale, self-control scale, and cyberaggression scale. (3) Results: The results showed that college students with low levels of belief in justice frequently showed cyberaggression; belief in a just world directly and negatively predicted cyberaggression, and indirectly predicted student cyberaggression through self-control; gender moderated the indirect effect of self-control on cyberaggression and the direct effect of belief in a just world on cyberaggression. (4) Conclusions: Belief in a just world significantly and negatively predicts cyberaggression; self-control has an indirect significant effect on cyberaggression; the direct effect of belief in a just world on cyberaggression and the mediating effect of self-control on this association are moderated by gender. Full article
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9 pages, 409 KiB  
Article
Examining the Role of Responsibility and Belief in a Just World in the Relationship between Parental Rejection and Adolescents’ Gratitude
by Jingwen Xing, Xiaofeng Xu and Xingchao Wang
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13040305 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Parenting is an important factor affecting teenagers’ gratitude, but few studies have deeply examined the impact of specific parenting behavior on teenagers’ gratitude. In this study, 357 high school students were tested by questionnaires to examine the mechanism of parental rejection on adolescents’ [...] Read more.
Parenting is an important factor affecting teenagers’ gratitude, but few studies have deeply examined the impact of specific parenting behavior on teenagers’ gratitude. In this study, 357 high school students were tested by questionnaires to examine the mechanism of parental rejection on adolescents’ gratitude. Results showed that (1) parental rejection significantly and negatively predicted adolescents’ gratitude, and that (2) after controlling for gender and age, parental rejection would indirectly impact adolescents’ gratitude through responsibility and belief in a just world, respectively. These results suggested that responsibility and belief in a just world were important factors in reducing the negative effect of parental rejection on teenagers’ gratitude. Full article
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15 pages, 1527 KiB  
Article
Negative Life Events and Procrastination among Adolescents: The Roles of Negative Emotions and Rumination, as Well as the Potential Gender Differences
by Lizhong Liu, Tianyi Zhang and Xiaochun Xie
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13020176 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2858
Abstract
Procrastination (the intentional delay of action despite knowing that one will be worse off due to the delay) is a widespread phenomenon with various negative consequences, especially among adolescents. Based on relevant evidence, this study examined the relation between negative life events and [...] Read more.
Procrastination (the intentional delay of action despite knowing that one will be worse off due to the delay) is a widespread phenomenon with various negative consequences, especially among adolescents. Based on relevant evidence, this study examined the relation between negative life events and adolescents’ procrastination, as well as the underlying mechanisms—specifically, the effects of negative emotions and rumination, as well as the potential gender differences. A total of 780 adolescents (Mage = 12.92 years old; 52.2% females) were recruited to complete a set of questionnaires assessing negative life events, procrastination, depression-anxiety-stress symptoms and rumination. Results showed that negative life events were positively associated with procrastination, and negative emotions significantly mediated the relation; rumination played a moderating role in this mediation model, specifically, both the direct and indirect effects in this mediation model were stronger for adolescents with higher rumination. Besides this, gender differences in this moderated mediation model were also found—the indirect effect of negative emotions was stronger for girls, and this mediating effect could be moderated by rumination only for boys. These results expanded our understanding of how negative life events influence procrastination and when (or for whom) negative life events influence procrastination the most. The findings also have significant implications for the prevention and intervention of adolescents’ procrastination. Full article
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14 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
Psychological Dimensions and Their Inner Relationships of College Students’ Network Civilization
by Yuling Liu, Xiaorong Shen and Huaquan Mi
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12120483 - 28 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1365
Abstract
Network civilization is a product of the rapid development of the virtual world. This study aims to investigate the psychological structure of college students’ network civilization and to explore the role of value judgment and value identification between college students’ psychological perception and [...] Read more.
Network civilization is a product of the rapid development of the virtual world. This study aims to investigate the psychological structure of college students’ network civilization and to explore the role of value judgment and value identification between college students’ psychological perception and value selection. In this study, 1096 college students (511 men and 585 women) completed the anonymous questionnaire on network civilization. They completed the scales of psychological perception, value judgment, value identification, and value selection. The total scale and each subscale both had high Cronbach’s alphas (0.90–0.97), indicating good reliability. Results indicated the following: (1) Psychological perception and value selection are positively correlated. (2) Psychological perception improves college students’ value selection by enhancing their value judgment. (3) Psychological perception may positively affect college students’ value selection via value identification. (4) There is a chain-mediating role between psychological perception, value judgment, value identification, and value selection. These testimonies also contribute to and provide an empirical basis for guidance strategies for the cultivation of network civilization and moral education among college students. Full article
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12 pages, 604 KiB  
Article
Deviant Peer Affiliation and Adolescent Tobacco and Alcohol Use: The Roles of Tobacco and Alcohol Information Exposure on Social Networking Sites and Digital Literacy
by Xuqing Bai, Liangshuang Yao, Changying Duan, Xiaojun Sun and Gengfeng Niu
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12120478 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1730
Abstract
Due to the prevalence and severe harm of adolescent tobacco and alcohol use, researchers have been paying attention to its influencing factors. From the perspective of the ecological techno-subsystem theory, this study aimed to examine the correlations between deviant peer affiliation, tobacco and [...] Read more.
Due to the prevalence and severe harm of adolescent tobacco and alcohol use, researchers have been paying attention to its influencing factors. From the perspective of the ecological techno-subsystem theory, this study aimed to examine the correlations between deviant peer affiliation, tobacco and alcohol information exposure on social networking sites (SNSs), and adolescent tobacco and alcohol use, as well as the potential protective role of digital literacy. In total, 725 adolescents were recruited to participate in this study. The results showed that deviant peer affiliation was positively associated with adolescent tobacco and alcohol use, SNS tobacco and alcohol information exposure mediated this association, and digital literacy moderated the relationship between SNS information exposure and tobacco and alcohol use. Specifically, the association between SNS tobacco and alcohol information exposure and adolescent tobacco and alcohol use was weaker for those with high digital literacy. These findings not only explore the combined effects of offline and online risk factors but also provide guides for preventing adolescents’ tobacco and alcohol use by cultivating and enhancing digital literacy. Full article
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16 pages, 2064 KiB  
Systematic Review
Social Media Use and Depression in Adolescents: A Scoping Review
by Layan Azem, Rafaa Al Alwani, Augusto Lucas, Balqes Alsaadi, Gilbert Njihia, Bushra Bibi, Mahmood Alzubaidi and Mowafa Househ
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060475 - 06 Jun 2023
Viewed by 7758
Abstract
This scoping review aimed to investigate the association between depression and social media use among adolescents. The study analyzed 43 papers using five databases to identify articles published from 2012 to August 2022. The results revealed a connection between social media use and [...] Read more.
This scoping review aimed to investigate the association between depression and social media use among adolescents. The study analyzed 43 papers using five databases to identify articles published from 2012 to August 2022. The results revealed a connection between social media use and depression, as well as other negative outcomes such as anxiety, poor sleep, low self-esteem, and social and appearance anxiety. Surveys were the most used study strategy, with multiple common scales applied to assess depression, social media use, and other factors such as self-esteem and sleep quality. Among the studies, eight reported that females who use social media showed higher depression symptoms than males. This scoping review provides an overview of the current literature on the relationship between social media use and depression among adolescents. The findings emphasize the importance of monitoring social media use and providing support for individuals struggling with depression. However, more research is needed to better understand the factors contributing to this relationship and to develop more standardized assessment methods. Full article
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