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Internet-based interactions and psychological wellness: Implications on internpersonal responses to hypothetical situations
journal contributionposted on 2018-08-29, 00:00 authored by E O'Reilly, Pieter RossouwPieter Rossouw
The experience of social interaction is important for well-being. Research has indicated that the nature of social interactions can initiate neurobiological changes and developments within the human brain. Interactions that foster an individual’s sense of safety can inform the development of healthy, adaptive neural pathways whereas social interactions that compromise this sense of safety can inform the development of unhelpful, maladaptive neural pathways. These neurological developments, defined as neural plasticity, further inform patterns of behavior, which, over time (and depending on the nature of social interaction), can result in psychological health or patterns of pathology. The present study investigated the relationship between negative social interaction on the Internet, psychological well-being, levels of aggression, and aggressive behavioral responses. Two hundred and four community members completed an online self-report questionnaire, assessing time spent online, interaction-based experiences online, perceived psychological well-being, perceived aggression, and aggressive responses to five hypothetical situations. Correlational analyses revealed a negative relationship between feeling abused or victimized when online and psychological well-being, and a positive relationship between experiencing negative interactions online and levels of aggression. However, the nature of online interactions did not significantly relate to aggressive behavioral responses. The significant correlational findings of the study illustrate the importance of considering individual exposure to negative Internet-based social interactions and the risk this poses to individual well-being. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Number of Pages30
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Additional RightsOpen Access provided by the publisher, The International Association of Neuropsychotherapy (IACN).
External Author AffiliationsThe University of Queensland