Maladaptive Daydreaming and Its Relationship with Psychopathological Symptoms, Emotion Regulation, and Problematic Social Networking Sites Use: a Network Analysis Approach

Ilaria Chirico, Eleonora Volpato, Giulia Landi, Giulia Bassi, Elisa Mancinelli, Giulia Gagliardini, Micol Gemignani, Giulia Gizzi, Tommaso Manari, Tania Moretta, Emanuela Rellini, Beatrice Saltarelli, Rachele Mariani, Alessandro Musetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study investigated the patterns of mutual associations between maladaptive daydreaming-related variables (MD, i.e., interference with life and somatosensory retreat), psychopathological symptoms (i.e., depression, anxiety, somatization, obsessive–compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, psychoticism), emotion regulation strategies (i.e., cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression), and problematic social networking sites use (PSNSU). A total of 531 young adults completed self-report measures through an online survey shared on social network groups. Two network models were performed on 297 young adults with probable MD (MDers) (Mage = 23.2, SD = 2.7) vs. 234 non-MDers (Mage = 23.4, SD = 2.6). Results showed that, compared to non-MDers, MDers showed significantly higher scores in all the study variables, except for cognitive reappraisal. Moreover, in the MDers network, the following patterns were identified: (i) no connections between the cluster of psychopathological symptoms, and neither cognitive reappraisal nor expressive suppression; (ii) a connection, through obsessive–compulsive (OC) symptoms, between the cluster of psychopathological symptoms and MD-interference with life; and (iii) a connection between PSNSU and MD-interference with life. Accordingly, the Network Comparison Test evidenced that the network structures of MDers vs. non-MDers were significantly different (M = .24; p = .01). Overall, higher scores on psychopathological symptoms in MDers provide support to the assumption that MD is a clinical condition, in which OC symptoms may play a critical role. Additionally, the association of PSNSU and MD-interference with life suggests that MDers might rely on PSNSU as a maladaptive emotion regulation strategy. Under this scenario, MD may be regarded as a potential vulnerability factor for PSNSU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Emotion regulation
  • Maladaptive daydreaming
  • Network analysis
  • Problematic social networking sites use
  • Psychopathological symptoms
  • Young adults

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