Adolescent Problematic Social Networking and School Experiences: The Mediating Effects of Sleep Disruptions and Sleep Quality
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© Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015. An important developmental task for adolescents is to become increasingly responsible for their own health behaviors. Establishing healthy sleep routines and controlling media use before bedtime are important for adequate, quality sleep so adolescents are alert during the day and perform well at school. Despite the prevalence of adolescent social media use and the large percentage of computers and cell phones in adolescents' bedrooms, no studies to date have investigated the link between problematic adolescent investment in social networking, their sleep practices, and associated experiences at school. A sample of 1,886 students in Australia aged between 12 and 18 years of age completed self-report data on problematic social networking use, sleep disturbances, sleep quality, and school satisfaction. Structural equation modeling (SEM) substantiated the serial mediation hypothesis: for adolescents, problematic social networking use significantly increased sleep disturbances, which adversely affected perceptions of sleep quality that, in turn, lowered adolescents' appraisals of their school satisfaction. This significant pattern was largely driven by the indirect effect of sleep disturbances. These findings suggest that adolescents are vulnerable to negative consequences from social networking use. Specifically, problematic social networking is associated with poor school experiences, which result from poor sleep habits. Promoting better sleep routines by minimizing sleep disturbances from social media use could improve school experiences for adolescents with enhanced emotional engagement and improved subjective well-being.
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