Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 405–411 | Cite as

Emotion Regulation and Desire Thinking as Predictors of Problematic Facebook Use

  • Claudia MarinoEmail author
  • Gabriele Caselli
  • Michela Lenzi
  • Maria Grazia Monaci
  • Alessio Vieno
  • Ana V. Nikčević
  • Marcantonio M. Spada
Original Paper


Research evidence suggests that problematic Facebook use (PFU) affects large numbers of people worldwide. A variety of studies have investigated the relationship between PFU and psychological dysfunction, revealing that negative mood and cognitive self-regulation are common among problematic Facebook users. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of craving, emotion regulation and desire thinking in predicting PFU. An online survey was administered to 750 participants (Mage = 23.38 years; SDage = 5.72). Correlation analyses indicated that all predictor variables were positively associated with PFU. Path analysis showed that imaginal prefiguration was associated with craving, which, in turn, was associated with verbal prefiguration that was directly linked to PFU, beyond the direct effect of emotion regulation. These findings provide further support for the importance of desire thinking in predicting problematic behaviours. Desire thinking and emotion regulation should be considered in the modification of problematic Facebook use.


Problematic Facebook use Desire thinking Craving Emotion regulation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Inform Consent

All participants were informed about the aims of the study and gave their informed consent prior to starting the online survey.

Ethical Approval

The ethical committee of the University of Padova gave ethical approval for the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Social PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Division of Psychology, School of Applied SciencesLondon South Bank UniversityLondonUK
  3. 3.Studi CognitiviMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Sigmund Freud UniversityMilanoItaly
  5. 5.Department of Human and Social SciencesUniversità della Valle d’AostaAostaItaly
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyKingston UniversityKingston Upon ThamesUK

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