An exploration of the associations among positivity, general distress and internet addiction: The mediating effect of general distress (2018)

Psychiatry Res. 2018 Dec 29;272:628-637. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.147.

Çikrikçi Ö1.


The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between positivity and general distress (including depression, anxiety, stress) and internet addiction and the mediating effects of general distress. The theoretical model was examined with 392 volunteers who were university students. Participants filled out the Positivity Scale (POS), Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS) and Short Form of Young’s Internet Addiction Test (YIAT-SF). The results revealed that there were significant associations among positivity, general distress and internet addiction. According to the results of mediation analysis using structural equation modelling and bootstrapping, depression fully mediated the positivity-internet addiction relationship, whilst anxiety and stress partially mediated it. Bootstrap analysis indicated that positivity exerted a significant indirect effect on internet addiction through depression. Overall, the results implied the potential therapeutic effect of positivity which leads to a direct decrease in general distress and an indirect decrease in internet addiction through general distress. In addition, internet addiction may be considered as a secondary problem rather than a primary disorder. The results provide opportunities to design psychological interventions focused on improving positivity which may lead to a decrease in general distress which involves a mechanism preventing individuals from applying a positive reinforcement process.

KEYWORDS: Anxiety; Depression; General distress; Internet addiction; Mediation analysis; Positivity; Stress

PMID: 30616133

DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.147