Objective: Young people seem particularly likely to develop pathological Internet use (PIU) with the use of socialnetworks, chat, and videos. Sensation-seeking, neuroticism, introversion, and low self-esteem are personality featuresfrequently associated with the disease. The aim of this study was to replicate and to extend previous findings byexploring the combined effect of personality traits and self-esteem on PIU.Method: A sample of 652 male students attending vocational technical schools in Palermo (Southern Italy) wasassessed using the following measures: the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire to evaluate personalitytraits; the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale to assess self-esteem; the Tech Style Behavior to investigate PIU.Results: Pathological Internet Use was associated to age, feelings of low self-esteem and inadequate competence,impulsivity/sensation seeking, aggression-hostility, and sociability. However, in a multiple linear regression model,only sociability, aggression-hostility, competence, and age demonstrated a significant effect in the prediction of PIU.Conclusions: Expanding previous research, the findings suggest that low self-esteem, high aggression-hostility,and high sociability are significant risk factors for PIU. Therefore, primary prevention programmes should includeinterventions aimed at promoting self-competence, enhancing emotional skills, and developing effective copingstrategies.
- Psychiatry and Mental health