Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Welfare

First Advisor's Name

Mario De La Rosa

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Hui Huang

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Nicole Fava

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Maureen Kenny

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


problematic internet use, problematic video gaming, adolescents, latinx adolescents, non-latinx black youth

Date of Defense



Problematic Internet use (PIU) and problematic video gaming (PVG) are associated with various negative health outcomes and are increasingly concerning behavioral health issues among youth. While market research indicates that US Latinx use the Internet and video games more frequently than non-Latinx US youth, research on PIU and PVG among this historically understudied population is lacking. Accordingly, data on PIU, PVG, parental monitoring, sleep quality, substance use, anxiety, depression, parental attachment, acculturation, and positive future orientation were collected using validated standardized measures from three separate samples of US Latinx and non-Latinx youth.

The aims of this research were to explore the associations between PIU, PVG, and family, cultural, and individual wellbeing outcomes in a community sample of US Latinx and non-Latinx black adolescents. The first study (N = 159) examined the incidence of PVG among youth and found that younger elementary school aged males (ages 6-11) had the highest PVG scores, followed by middle school aged males (ages 12-14), and high school aged males (ages 15-18).

Building off previous research, the second study collected data (N = 247) examined PIU as a mediator of the association between parental monitoring and academic achievement, sleep quality, substance use, anxiety, and depression. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to estimate the relationships between the variables, controlling for adolescent’s age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Results revealed that PIU is a significant mediator between parental monitoring and low academic achievement, sleep quality, substance use, anxiety, and depression.

A third study was conducted to examine if PIU and PVG mediate the relation between family, cultural, individual constructs and academic achievement. Two separate simple mediation models were tested using PROCESS© macro v3.0 for SPSS 25. Results from the hypothesized mediation models were not significant. Suggestions for future research to examine critical Latinx cultural values and their influence on behavioral health is discussed.



Included in

Social Work Commons



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