Addict Behav. 2018 Dec;87:214-221. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.07.014.
A validated theoretical model of Problematic Facebook Use (PFU) is currently lacking in the literature. The cognitive-behavioral model of generalized Problematic Internet Use (PIU) proposed by Caplan (2010) may provide a conceptual basis for understanding the problematic use of Social Networking Sites. The present study aimed at contributing to the discussion on the conceptualization of PFU by testing the feasibility of the model of generalized PIU in the context of PFU. The Italian version of the Problematic Facebook Use Scale (PFUS; including five subscales, i.e., preference for online social interaction – POSI, mood regulation, cognitive preoccupation, compulsive use, and negative outcomes) was administered to 815 young Italian adults. A Structural Equation Modeling analysis was used to test the theoretical model. POSI resulted to be a positive predictor of Facebook use for mood regulation and of deficient self-regulation; using Facebook for mood regulation was a positive predictor of deficient self-regulation; and deficient self-regulation was a positive predictor of negative outcomes of Facebook use. Of note, difficulties in self-regulating Facebook use was related more strongly to using Facebook for mood regulation than to preference for online social interaction. Similarly, using Facebook for mood regulation appears to have a greater impact than preference for online social interaction on negative outcomes of PFU. The obtained results support the feasibility of the model of generalized PIU in the context of PFU and suggest that mood regulation abilities may be a potential target for prevention and treatment of PFU.
KEYWORDS: Behavioral addiction; Cognitive-behavioral model; Internet addiction; Mood regulation; Preference for online social interaction; Problematic Facebook Use (PFU)