PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS, vol.60, no.4, pp.1060-1082, 2023 (SSCI)
Temporary school lockdowns and physical distancing practices due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to the risk of problematic social media use (PSU) in students who need to socialize. The effect of PSU on students' academic commitment and the mechanisms that moderate this effect spark interest in researchers. For this reason, the present study sought answers to the following two research questions: (a) Whether PSU positively predicts academic procrastination (AP), (b) Whether this relation is moderated by self-control and gender. Employing the additive multiple moderation model, the study was carried out with 370 Turkish middle school students (female: 65.1%, M-age: 12.82). The findings indicate that PSU positively affects AP. The positive effect of PSU on AP is higher in boys than in girls. Self-control acts as a buffering moderator in the positive effect of PSU on AP. As students' self-control levels increase, the positive effect of PSU on AP weakens. Self-control plays a greater role as a buffering moderator in girls than in boys. Regarding the context of middle school students' PSU and AP, the results extend the literature, which states that boys tend to act more impulsively. Also, this study adds new empirical evidence to the literature regarding the importance of high levels of self-control in minimizing the negative effects of PSU, which has become more common among middle school students after the Covid-19 pandemic, on AP.