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Mental Health

Facets of Impulsivity and Related Aspects Differentiate Among Recreational and Unregulated Use of Internet Pornography

Facets of impulsivity and related aspects differentiate among recreational and unregulated use of Internet pornographyFull Article Name: Facets of Impulsivity and Related Aspects Differentiate Among Recreational and Unregulated Use of Internet Pornography

Open Access: Yes

Abstract

Background and aims: Unregulated Internet pornography (IP) use is discussed as a clinically significant disorder. Because of its primarily rewarding nature, IP is a predestinated target for addictive behaviors. However, not every user develops an unregulated usage pattern. In fact, most users tend to use IP recreationally. Impulsivity-related constructs have been identified as promoters of addictive behaviors. It is unclear whether these impulsivity-related constructs are specific for unregulated IP use or also play a role in recreational but frequent behaviors. In this study, we investigated impulsive tendencies (trait impulsivity, delay discounting, and cognitive style), craving toward IP, attitude regarding IP, and coping styles in individuals with recreational–occasional, recreational–frequent, and unregulated IP use. Methods: A total of 1,498 heterosexual males participated in an online survey. Groups of individuals with recreational–occasional use (n = 333), recreational–frequent use (n = 394), and unregulated use (n = 225) of IP were identified by screening instruments. Results: Craving and attitude regarding IP as well as delay discounting and cognitive and coping styles differed between groups. Individuals with unregulated use showed the highest scores for craving, attentional impulsivity, delay discounting, and dysfunctional coping, and lowest scores for functional coping and need for cognition. Recreational–frequent users had the most positive attitude toward IP. Motor and non-planning impulsivity did not differ between groups. Discussion and conclusions: The results indicate that some facets of impulsivity and related factors such as craving and a more negative attitude are specific for unregulated IP users. The results are also consistent with models on specific Internet use disorders and addictive behaviors.

    Citation

    Antons, S., Mueller, S. M., Wegmann, E., Trotzke, P., Schulte, M. M., & Brand, M. (2019). Facets of impulsivity and related aspects differentiate among recreational and unregulated use of internet pornography. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 8(2), 223–233. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.8.2019.22