10.4185/RLCS-2018-1248en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS, 73-2018 | |
Techno-addiction to sex in the youth population: Proposal of items for the design of a detection and screening scale
Olga Serrano Villalobos [CV][ORCID] [GS] Department CAVP II (Audiovisual Communication and Advertisement II). Faculty of Information Sciences. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). firstname.lastname@example.org
Translation of paper by Yuhanny Henares (Academic translator, Universitat de Barcelona)
It seems there aren’t many questionnaires targeted in a more specific manner to assessing sexual activity and sexual problems in Internet (Stefano Eleuteri, Francesca Tripodi, Irene Petruccelli, Roberta Rossi, Chiara Simonelli, 2014) derived from the use of the technology with sexual purposes, and moreover, these questionnaires are even less existing if we refer to the infantile, teenager and youth population. In this sense, we deem relevant to be able to obtain a specific tool and capable of evaluating the causal origin of sexual behaviors through Internet and its relationship with the lack of impulse control and disturbance in daily live. For this, we are going to consider the great areas surrounding said problematic. Said areas will be reviewed, because it seems that, from the scientific communities’ side there is no unanimity in the delimitation of the phenomenon. Thus, we will show the main areas that have been considered for this research project with the purpose to thoroughly understand the possible different parameters considered until now. The four main areas we work are as follows:
The objective of this article is focused in presenting some items for the design of an early detection and screening scale of the youngest population. Said design will be able to create, in the future, a tool that could assess the causal origin of sexual behaviors through the Internet and its relationship with lack of impulse control and the disturbance in daily life.
In a way, the general objective of this paper is to consider the possibility to obtain a specific tool for the infantile-young population which can inform whether an individual has a problem with sexual activity on the Internet or not, as well as if he or she is under risk, or even predict whether there is a certain pathology. Furthermore, this tool we will obtain in the future could prognose a predisposition towards the disorder or adjacent disorders that are part of said problematic, confirming the comorbidity that occurs in these types of phenomena.
This scale design is accompanied by a theoretical model explaining the evolution of the phenomena through the different relationships existing in other previous models, also through the extraction and analysis of integrating factors, and through the reflection of different existing scales related to the phenomenon through factors.
3.1. Theoretical model
The theoretical model considered is based on the following issues:
Based on these concepts, also the term “Techno-addiction” is elaborated, appearing in the title of this paper.
3.2. Previous scales
Previous scales considered in this research refer, on one hand, both to preceding scales about sex on the Internet, build mainly for adults. And on the other hand, to scales that delimit adjacent disorders, which are extracted from existing scales about disorders recognized in the DSM-5, for children, adolescents and adults; specifically, about disorders described on items shown.
3.2.1. The scales analyzed about sex on the Internet
Analyzed scales about sex on the Internet:
3.2.2. The scales analyzed on sexual disorders
Analyzed scales about sexual disorders:
22.214.171.124. Scales related to sexual disorders
126.96.36.199. Scales related to compulsive sexual disorders
188.8.131.52. Scales concerning sexual behavior in children
184.108.40.206. Scales related to sexual symptoms
3.2.3. The scales analyzed on the adjacent disorders, depending on factors
The analyzed scales about adjacent disorders, depending on factors:
220.127.116.11. Scales concerning depression disorder
The scales reviewed with the objective of evaluating sadness, unhappiness, the feeling of being misunderstood by others, and the lack of love, are the following:
None of these scales included items that referred to the technological use nor the behavior derived thereof that is related to depressive disorders.
18.104.22.168. Scales concerning anxiety disorder
The scales that were reviewed with the objective to evaluate uneasiness, stress, lack of confidence or lack of trust, anguish, and feeling of being altered, which includes psychological tension, deriving in a technological use, are the following:
None of these scales included items that made reference to the technological use nor behavior derived from said use that is related to anxiety and sexual anxiety.
22.214.171.124. Scales regarding aggression and violence disorder
The scales reviewed to evaluate anger and rage, where jealousy is included; and which were chosen because they are considered instruments to assess personality and its disorders. They are as follows:
None of these scales had items that referenced the technological use related to aggressiveness, violence, and hostility.
126.96.36.199. Scales related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The following are the scales that were reviewed to evaluate difficulty, uneasiness, distraction, and the difficulty to focus (get distracted easily), avoiding difficult tasks, and not completing school homework:
None of these scales included items that referred to technological use nor behavior derived thereof, related to the attention deficit and hyperactivity.
188.8.131.52. Scales related to disorders regarding social environment or social anxiety, such as social phobia and social integration
To be able to detect problems regarding social phobia, we reviewed the following scales:
None of these scales had items that referred to the technological use related to social phobia, social anxiety, anti-social behavior, or social interaction.
184.108.40.206. Scales referring to disorders related to obsession, compulsion and impulsivity, including references to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
220.127.116.11.1. Obsession and compulsion
This disorder was considered from the difficulty to control thoughts. In order to detect recurrent thoughts that may become obsessive, and finally in compulsivity related to sex and the technological use, we highlight the following scales that comprise the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):
We haven’t found items in any of these scales that referred to the technological use nor the behavior derived thereof related with the obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Impulsivity was represented through the following scales, with the objective of finding the relationship between said scales with the item that will correspond, in our future scale, to impulsivity assessment. Thus, impulsive behaviors have been defined as non-premeditated and explosive behaviors, and impulsivity was the trend to show unexpected and thoughtless behavior. To this concept we add afterwards, besides irresistibility, the intense and repetitive desire to perform an act even if it entails negative consequences (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013; Moeller F, Barratt E, Dougherty D, Schimtz J, Swann A., 2011). It is suggested that impulsivity is a multidimensional concept, that is constituted by traits including the trend to make decisions in a fast manner, the trend to act without thinking and the trend to get involved in risky behaviors (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013; Stanford M, Mathias C, Dougherty D, Lake S, Anderson N, Patton J., 2009; Squillace M, Picón J, Schmidt V, 2011; Steinberg L, Sharp C, Stanford M, Tharp A., 2013). Most of the time, the individual perceives an increasing tension or excitement before fulfilling the action or act, and as consequences of performing said act, the individual receives pleasant, gratification or relief experiences. After the act, there might be regret or not, self-reproach or guilt (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013; American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Impulsivity is part of different disorders, representing a diagnosis criteria or a significant symptom (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013). Additionally, impulsivity has been mainly related with suicide behavior (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013; Bobes J, Sáiz P. García-Portillo M, Bascarán M, Bousoño M., 2004; Nock M., 2009), and with aggressiveness (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013; Stanford M, Mathias C, Dougherty D, Lake S, Anderson N, Patton J., 2009; Martínez-Tenorio F, Hernández-Daza M, Chávez-Dueñas M, 2007; Arias N, Ostrosky-Solís F., 2008), although it is also correlated with multiple impulsive disorders such as self-aggressions, looking for sensations, alcohol and drug consumption, bipolar disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity, eating behavior disorders, borderline personality disorder and disorder of antisocial personality (Lilian Salvo G. and Andrea Castro S., 2013; Stanford M, Mathias C, Dougherty D, Lake S, Anderson N, Patton J., 2009; Steinberg L, Sharp C, Stanford M, Tharp A., 2013; Patton J, Stanford M, Barratt E, 1995; Andreu J, Fernández M, Penado M, 2012; Sierra P, Livianos L, Peris L, Rojo L, 2011). Which explained the feedback relationship between disorders (adjacent), and the close association with disorders (factors). These scales were the following:
In general, none of the reviewed scales refer to the technological use or Internet, and this is due to the fact that they have followed the criteria of disorders ranked in the DSM for the selection of scales that will be used in the future instrument. Hence, we can say that in no scale of these characteristics which are included in the DSM refers to the technological use at all, so it is accurate that we start to consider its measurement as disorder in the near future.
From the analysis of the previous models and the analyzed scales we obtained the following factors, these factors will be considered as disorders recognized in the DSM-5. Likewise, these factors will be considered independent factors because they will be able to measure despise discarding compulsivity. Additionally, they will also allow us to confirm the existence of comorbidity for this kind of problematic, as well as to unveil the disorder in its origin. Said factors-disorders are the following:
4. Results and discussion
Considering the aforesaid, that is, the analysis of the previous theoretical models, of factors, of DSM-5 and previous scales related to the sex addiction on Internet and with adjacent disorders, the results obtained were 11 independent items able to assess in an independent manner since they are considered independent factors that include basic features of addiction: Tolerance, Abstinence, Disturbance of daily life, and Relapse.
The following items suggested in this research based on DSM, that analyze the origin-cause of behavior, as well as emotions or emotional states, unified under one term “looking for sex on the Internet”:
As a result of this research we obtain, through some previously extracted factors, as well as from previous theoretical models, specific items that in the future will be helpful in elaborating an early detection and screening scale for the young population based in the causal-origin of behavior when an individual decides “looking for sex on the Internet.”
Additionally, we examined the existing measuring tools for each one of these eight factor-disorders: depression, anxiety, aggressiveness, social phobia, attention deficit and hyperactivity, compulsivity, obsession and impulsivity, where in none of said measuring tools there was reference to the technological use.
From the aforesaid we suggest some items based on these eight independent factors described previously. And, lastly, the purpose is unified under the premise: “Looking for sex on the Internet.”
Additional to the 11 suggested items, besides the factors we suggest based on DSM-5, they also comprise the classical features of addiction; explain the creation of the habit out of boredom and amusement or recreation/ sexual game; consider self-esteem; support on the solitary behavior (showing it as reflection of addiction as well); and furthermore, project the power of image.
In short, we have attempted to introduce some items that, in the future, will be part of an assessment, detection and screening short scale that could measure without referring to explicit sexual figures, making its application easier in minors without any kind of prejudice for their future sexuality.
The 11 items we introduce as solid proposals to evaluate the causal origin of behavior when an individual decides to look for sex on the Internet seem to be valid, using a short scale, as well as the evaluation of emotions (feelings, thoughts and beliefs) that pushes the subject to said search for sex on Internet. Besides, we understand that when an individual decides to look for sex on the Internet, what he or she is really looking for, is for emotions, in this case sexual, therefore the study of emotions seems to be important for measuring this kind of problems and/ or pathology.
In a way, with the design of these items we attempt to justify these kind of problematics/ pathologies as disorders developed from the technological use, supporting in DSM-5. Thus, this research favors a possible inclusion for the next version of DSM for disorders related to technological use and sexuality.
It seems these 11 items introduced in this paper could be optimal to be administered to children, adolescents and young people besides adults, because for assessing and evaluating the problematic, said items do not refer to any explicit sexual figure as happens with other scales for adults.
In short, we have suggested 11 items that evaluate factors described previously, and that said factors seem relevant because they can optimally measure something that has not been considered before for the evaluation of this kind of problematic.
6. Future researches
To create an early detection and screening scale that is able to inform whether a subject has problems or no, whether he or she is under risk, or even if the individual suffers pathologically.
To create a scale that allows us to identify the sexual problem regarding the use of technology an individual might have.
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How to cite this article in bibliographies / References
O Serrano Villalobos, L Martínez Martínez, JI Niño González (2018): “Techno-addiction to sex in the youth population: Proposal of items for the desing of a detection and screening scale”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 73, pp. 115 to 132.
Article received on 2 December 2017. Accepted on 20 January.