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Comunicar Journal 75: Youth, gender identity and power in digital platforms (Vol. 31 - 2023)

Psychosocial factors and low-risk behaviour in ICT use among adolescents


Sara Malo-Cerrato

Maria-de-las-Mercedes Martín-Perpiñá

Maria-Gràcia Cornellà-Font


Many current investigations have analysed adolescents' risky ICT behaviours (such as excessive or addictive use), but few have explored the characteristics of low-risk behaviour in this regard. This study aimed to explore the psychosocial profile of a sample of 593 Spanish adolescents aged 13 to 18 who have been categorized as low-risk ICT users. To this end, the low-risk ICT use group was calculated using the “multitasking while doing homework index” and a set of items on risky ICT behaviour. Chi-squared and t-tests were performed and a forward stepwise binary logistic regression was carried out to determine the explanatory variables for low-risk ICT use. The results showed that some 7.1% were classified as low-risk ICT users, with a higher percentage of girls. These users’ profile was characterised by: lower digital self-efficacy with social networking applications; less generalized ICT use and a less dependent attitude; less extroversion and more agreeableness and conscientiousness; higher academic self-concept; having rules for ICT use at home; and less insecure and anxious attachment to parental figures. The variables that predicted the likelihood of low-risk ICT behaviour were: high academic self-concept; low perceived separation anxiety from loved ones; and high agreeableness scores. These results are useful for proposing psycho-socio-educational interventions to promote healthy ICT use.


ICTs, digital self-efficacy, digital attitude, personality, self-concept, family

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