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Effects of a group activity-based motivational enhancement therapy program on social media addictive behaviors among junior high school students in Thailand: a cluster randomized trial

Authors Manwong M, Lohsoonthorn V, Booranasuksakul T, Chaikoolvatana A

Received 23 March 2018

Accepted for publication 8 June 2018

Published 31 August 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 329—339

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S168869

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Mereerat Manwong,1,2 Vitool Lohsoonthorn,1 Thanvaruj Booranasuksakul,3 Anun Chaikoolvatana2

1Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; 2College of Medicine and Public Health, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand; 3Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

Purpose: This study aimed to assess the effects of a group activity-based motivational enhancement therapy (GA-MET) program on social media addictive behaviors among junior high school students.
Materials and methods: This cluster randomized trial was performed in 245 junior high school students who used social media in the lower part of northeast Thailand. The GA-MET program group and the control group sessions lasted 8 weeks and were followed up 4 weeks later. The addictive social media behaviors, average duration of social media usage during weekdays and weekends (hours/day), child behaviors, self-esteem, and depression were investigated using a self-reported questionnaire. Multivariable linear regression was used to compare the mean and 95% CIs between two groups.
Results: The GA-MET program significantly decreased the average duration of social media usage during weekdays and weekends (hours/day) (–1.27, 95% CI: −2.18,–0.37 and –1.25, 95% CI: −2.22, –0.29, respectively), emotional behavior (–0.69, 95% CI: −1.18, –0.19), and depression (–4.03, 95% CI: −6.07, –1.99) in the treated group compared to the control group.
Conclusion: The GA-MET program could reduce the risk of social media addictive behaviors in junior high school students in Thailand by decreasing time spent on social media, emotional behaviors, and depression.

Keywords: group activities, motivational enhancement therapy (MET), social media addictive behavior, students, Thailand, social media addiction

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