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Title: Investigating the associations between well-being and digital technology use in a UK university student population
Author: Esmaielian Khyabani, Azaria Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 2255
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2020
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Introduction: Understanding and protecting the well-being of university students is of increasing importance to universities and support services. Problematic digital technology use has been associated with poorer student well-being internationally, but little is known about this relationship in the UK university student population. The current research investigated whether digital technology use and well-being are associated in the UK student population, which factors of well-being are important to this relationship and how they are associated with digital technology use. Method: Students from the University of Leeds (n = 544) completed an online survey composed of standardised measures of factors relating to psychological well-being, mental health, physical health and problematic digital technology use. Nine models were analysed using structural equation modelling. Theoretical relationships between well-being and digital technology use and moderating effects of basic psychological need satisfaction, social support and mental health were assessed, as well as the goodness of fit for each model. Results: The superior model, 5.0, hypothesised that greater problematic digital technology use would be associated with lower well-being. Mental health and basic psychological need satisfaction were hypothesised to moderate this relationship. In model 5.0, digital technology use was significantly negatively associated with well-being (β = -0.16, p < .01). Basic psychological need satisfaction did not moderate the relationship. Mental health moderated the relationship and was significantly negatively associated with well-being (β = -0.90, p < .001) and significantly positively associated with digital technology use (β = 0.26, p < .001). Discussion: Digital technology use is related to well-being in the UK university student population. Students with mental health difficulties are more likely to have a problematic relationship with digital technology and for their use of digital technology to negatively impact on their well-being. It is recommended that universities work to increase awareness of the impact of problematic technology use on well-being and its relationship with mental health difficulties.
Supervisor: Bewick, Bridgette ; Farragher, Tracey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available