Adolescents have been called the "digital natives of the technology age", but determining adolescents' awareness, attitudes and behavior with respect to technology addiction (TA) is important for developing balanced and effective approaches to support their physical and psychological well-being after the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the present study investigates the impact of attitudes on TA behavior in 382 adolescents by gender and extent of technology use. Three scales were used to determine adolescents' TA awareness, attitude, and behavior. The results of the dual-moderated mediation model show that gender and duration of technology use (h) moderated the full mediation of attitude on awareness and behavior in TA (F = 39.29, df = 9;372, p < .01). The indirect effect in males with 16.04 h per day of technology use is stronger (.24) than the indirect effect in males with 4.90 h per day of technology use (.13). In addition, the simple slope plot shows that when attitude scores increase, addictive behavior rises in females (simple slope = .74, t = 8.79, p < .01). On the other hand, with 16.04 h per day of technology use, when attitude scores decrease, addictive behavior rises in females (simple slope = .69, t = 7.59, p < .01). Furthermore, when the attitude scores increase, addictive behavior rises in males (simple slope = .85, t = 13.26, p < .01). As a result, the psychoeducational intervention programs to be implemented for TA should not only focus on awareness, but should also encompass behavioral, cognitive and lifestyle changes.
Keywords: Adolescent; Attitude; Awareness; COVID-19; Dual moderator mediation model; Technology addiction.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature 2021.