Journal of Addictive Behaviors,Therapy & RehabilitationISSN: 2324-9005

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Males (but Not Females) Who Excessively Use Social Media Make More Impulsive Decisions: Role of Gender and Delay Discounting

Background and aims. Social media use has become ubiquitous globally. Females and males differ in the form and function of their social media use, but it is unknown what role gender plays in the relation between impulsive decision making and excessive/problematic social media use. The present study aimed to examine whether gender moderates such a relation. Methods. Based on the hours spent for social media use, participants were first grouped into the excessive or non-excessive social media use group. They were then grouped by gender. Participants in all groups completed a delay-discounting task with hypothetical monetary rewards, in which they made repeated choices between a larger amount of money obtained later and an equal or lower amount of money obtained immediately.Results. In females, the excessive social media users did not differ significantly from the non-excessive social media users in terms of rates of delay discounting, whereas in males, the excessive social media users discounted delayed monetary rewards at significantly greater rates than the non-excessive social media users. Discussion. The present findings support the conclusion that gender acts as a moderating variable in the relation between excessive social media use and impulsive decision making and suggest that interventions for excessive/problematic social media use may need to be optimized for each gender. Conclusion. The present study extends similar previous studies and provides more refined understanding of social media use as it relates to impulsive decision making, which contributes to the development of effective intervention strategies for excessive/problematic social media use.

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