The mediating effect of self-esteem, depression and anxiety between satisfaction with body appearance and problematic Internet use

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Koronczai, B ; Kökönyei, G ; Urbán, R ; Kun, B ; Pápay, O ; Nagygyörgy, K ; Griffiths, MD ; Demetrovics, Z (2013)
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Background and objectives: Given that dissatisfaction with bodily appearance can sometimes lead to the avoidance of personal contacts and the increase of internet use, this study examines this relationship. The direct role of dissatisfaction with bodily appearance along with the possible mediation effects of depression, anxiety and self-esteem were tested. Methods: A total of 694 participants completed an online questionnaire (58.5% male, mean age 21.5 years), containing measures on problematic internet use, depression and anxiety symptoms, self-esteem and satisfaction with body image. Path analyses were used to test direct and indirect effects. Results: Satisfaction with body appearance had a significant negative direct effect on problematic internet use among both sexes. Though, satisfaction with body appearance had a positive effect on self-esteem and negative on anxiety, neither self-esteem nor anxiety had a direct significant effect on problematic internet use. The effect of dissatisfaction with body appearance was mediated via the self-esteem–depression path toward problematic internet use. Conclusions: Dissatisfaction with physical appearance seems to have a significant role in individuals’ immersing themselves in internet use.
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