University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • Julius Burkauskas
  • Konstantinos Ioannidis
  • Samuel Chamberlain
  • Henrietta Bowden-Jones
  • Inga Griskova-Bulanova
  • Aiste Pranckeviciene
  • Artemisa Dores
  • Irene Carvalho
  • Fernando Barbosa
  • Pierluigi Simonato
  • Ilaria De Luca
  • Rosin Mooney
  • Maria Gómez-Martínez
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
  • Krisztina Ábel
  • Attila Szabo
  • Hironobu Fujiwara
  • Mami Shibata
  • Alejandra Melero-Ventola
  • Eva Arroyo-Anlló
  • Ricardo Santos-Labrador
  • Kei Kobayashi
  • Francesco Di Carlo
  • Cristina Monteiro
  • Giovanni Martinotti
View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8823
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Early online date20 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2022


This cross-sectional study aimed to explore specific online behaviours and their association with a range of underlying psychological and other behavioural factors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eight countries (Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Portugal, Japan, Hungary, and Brazil) participated in an international investigation involving 2223 participants (M = 33 years old; SD = 11), 70% of whom were females. Participants were surveyed for specific type of Internet use severity, appearance anxiety, self-compassion, and image and use of performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs). Results were compared cross-culturally. The mean time spent online was 5 h (SD = ±3) of daily browsing during the pandemic. The most commonly performed activities included social networking, streaming, and general surfing. A strong association between these online behaviours and appearance anxiety, self-compassion, and IPEDs use was found after adjustment for possible confounders, with higher scores being associated with specific online activities. Significant cross-cultural differences also emerged in terms of the amount of time spent online during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

ID: 27944333