• Online and Offline Life: A New Framework to Understand Problematic Internet Use and Functional Internet Use
  • Benvenuti, Martina <1989>


  • M-PSI/04 Psicologia dello sviluppo e psicologia dell'educazione


  • The Internet is an important part of our daily lives. The possibility of being technically always connected increases dramatically the amount of the time spent online, and the Internet has become such a pervading part of our lives. The goal of the present research goes beyond the dualism that consider the Internet good or bad, since in the literature there is an excessive imbalance to the problematic/addiction side. Thus, the research tries to answer the question: “when, how and under which conditions is the Internet usage problematic or functional for people?”, considering both, the problematic Internet use (PIU) that lead to an inverse instrumentality, and functional internet use (FIU) that consider the Internet as a functional organ. Sample consist of 2130 participants divided in 574 adolescents, 671 younger emerging adults 163 older emerging adults and 722 adults. Hypotheses of multiple moderation, mediation and moderated moderated mediation are tested using factors both related to the PIU (self-esteem, self-control, online social-support, offline social-support, mindfulness, cognitive absorption) and to the FIU (online social-support, number of online contacts, life satisfaction, job satisfaction). All hypotheses are tested using a multiple regression analysis. The results show that as age decreases, the hours spent online increase, and consequently PIU increases. The most significant difference is between younger emerging adults and older emerging adults, in favor of the latter. Moreover, adults have the highest scores in FIU followed by older emerging adults, adolescents and, lastly, younger emerging adults. Also, gender differences are funded, but only related to age both in problematic and functional Internet use. Limitations regarding the sampling, the instruments and the methodology are reported. The relevance of these findings for future research and the possible practical application in the areas of prevention, education and work are discussed.


  • 2018-04-16


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Benvenuti, Martina (2018) Online and Offline Life: A New Framework to Understand Problematic Internet Use and Functional Internet Use, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze psicologiche , 30 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/8552.