Background. New technologies offer endless possibilities for students and schools, but as the use of smartphones increases, psychological and behavioral problems may also increase.
Objective. To investigate the relationship of mobile-based social network addiction and family communication patterns on the one hand, and behavioral problems in students on the other, with a focus on the mediating role of emotional self-regulation.
Design. This study used a quantitative approach and a cross-sectional design. The participants were 384 students (female/male: 226/168; mean age: 16 ± 1.98) in secondary high schools in Tehran in the academic year 2022–2023. The students were selected using convenience sampling. The data were collected online using the Revised Family Communication Pattern Scale (1994), Mobile-Based Social Network Addiction Questionnaire (2016), Child Behavior Checklist - Adolescent Version (2001), and the Affective Style Questionnaire (2010). The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling with SPSS-25 and AMOS-24 statistical software.
Results. The study showed that emotional self-regulation plays a mediating role in the relationship between mobile-based social network addiction and internalized and externalized behavioral problems (P ≤ .05). The indirect effect of conversation orientation on internalized and externalized behavioral problems mediated by emotional self-regulation was not significant, but the indirect effect of conformity orientation on internalized and externalized behavioral problems with the mediation of emotional self-regulation was significant (P ≤ .05).
Conclusion. Based on the findings, it is suggested that school officials and parents should develop emotional self-regulation and communication skills in students and parenting skills in their parents to prevent and reduce potential harm such as internet addiction and behavioral problems in students.
Keywords: mobile-based social network addiction/ family communication patterns/ behavioral problems/ emotional self-regulation