Stress and suicide risk among adolescents: the role of problematic internet use, gaming disorder and emotional regulation

Chamarro, A., Díaz-Moreno, A., Bonilla, I., Cladellas, R., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Gómez-Romero, M.J. and Limonero, J.T., 2024. Stress and suicide risk among adolescents: the role of problematic internet use, gaming disorder and emotional regulation. BMC Public Health, 24: 326. ISSN 1471-2458

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Background: Previous studies have associated videogame playing and social media use with suicidal behaviors together with lower stress coping or poor emotion regulation strategies. Due to the inconclusive evidence regarding the factors associated with suicidal behavior, the present study aimed to overcome the limitations of previous research and explored the relationship between adolescent stress, problematic internet use (PIU), gaming disorder (GD), and emotional regulation (ER) in a cross-section design. It was hypothesized that stress would have a direct effect on suicide risk (SR) as well as being mediated by PIU, GD, and ER.

Methods: The participants comprised 430 adolescents (58.4% male) aged between 16 and 19 years. They completed an online survey including the Mobile-Related Experiences Questionnaire, Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short Form, Meta-Mood Trait Repair Scale, and Spanish version of the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire.

Results: A total of 34.2% of the adolescents (N = 147) were at risk for SR. Results also indicated that 30,7% had experienced suicidal ideation at some point in their life, 12.1% had at least one plan to die by suicide, and 5.1% had attempted suicide. Results of path analysis confirmed that stress appeared to be a risk factor for suicide, but that its effects were not mediated by PIU. However, ER and GD mediated the effect of stress on SR. The results suggest that stress is a main risk factor for suicide, especially among adolescents with poor emotional regulation or problematic gaming.

Conclusions: Considering the prevalence of suicide among adolescents, the results of the present study suggest that suicide prevention programs should include emotional regulation strategies, stress coping, and videogaming management skills in the early stages of high school. Providing these protective resources to adolescents will help them face the stressful and changing situations typical of adolescence and will help them to attain greater well-being and satisfaction with life.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: BMC Public Health
Creators: Chamarro, A., Díaz-Moreno, A., Bonilla, I., Cladellas, R., Griffiths, M.D., Gómez-Romero, M.J. and Limonero, J.T.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: 30 January 2024
Volume: 24
ISSN: 1471-2458
Rights: © The Author(s) 2024. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 06 Feb 2024 11:57
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 11:57

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