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The Role of Sexual Compulsivity, Impulsivity, and Experiential Avoidance in Internet Pornography Use

Abstract

Previous research has found that a significant proportion of individuals who use Internet pornography (IP) report that their use is problematic in some area of functioning. Problematic IP use has been conceptualized as an aspect of sexual addiction and as having components of impulsivity and compulsivity. Experiential avoidance also has been implicated in problematic IP use. The current study further examined the relationship between problematic IP use and these variables. Participants (N = 94), who were categorized as having problematic or nonproblematic IP use based on their responses to four questions, completed an online survey regarding their use of IP. Results indicated that there were significant differences between individuals with and without problematic IP use in hours of IP used per week, sexual compulsivity, amount of interference from sexual urges, experiential avoidance, and negative and positive effects of IP use. Results from the current study help clarify conceptualizations of problematic IP use, and implications for treatment are suggested.

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Correspondence to Chad T. Wetterneck.

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Wetterneck, C.T., Burgess, A.J., Short, M.B. et al. The Role of Sexual Compulsivity, Impulsivity, and Experiential Avoidance in Internet Pornography Use. Psychol Rec 62, 3–18 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03395783

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Key words

  • pornography
  • Internet
  • sexual compulsivity
  • impulsivity
  • experiential avoidance