University of Hertfordshire


  • Biljana Gjoneska
  • Marc N. Potenza
  • Julia Jones
  • Célia M.D. Sales
  • Georgi Hranov
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
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Original languageEnglish
Article number101208
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Early online date29 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2022


People from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) represent large portions of the world population, often occupy less favorable living conditions, and typically suffer greater health risks, yet frequently receive little research and global health attention. The present study reviews emerging evidence on problematic use of the Internet (PUI) in LMICs prior/during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyzed studies mainly focused on general properties of PUI in university students, problematic gaming in youth, or problematic use of social media in adults, registering higher prevalence estimates, as compared with earlier reports. Research mainly focused on initially affected regions and COVID-exposed populations. Overall, unfavorable circumstances, including poor social support, family relationships, and lifestyle tendencies/habits, may present potential risk for PUI in LMICs, likely exacerbated during the pandemic.


© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. his is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, to view a copy of the license, see:

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