Causes and Effects of Internet Addiction Among Students

Topics: Addiction, Internet, Maressa Orzack Pages: 36 (10448 words) Published: March 30, 2012
International Journal of Economic Sciences and Applied Research 3 (1): 49-74

Internet Addiction among Greek University Students: Demographic Associations with the Phenomenon, using the Greek version of Young’s Internet Addiction Test Christos C. Frangos1, Constantinos C. Frangos2 and Apostolos P. Kiohos3 Abstract Internet addiction (IA) is a new disorder described in 1996 by the psychologist Kimberly Young. The aim of this paper is to estimate the percentage of IA among Greek university students. Results of a sample survey among 1876 Greek university students, 18-27 years old, are presented. The questionnaire consisted of eight questions from Young’s Diagnostic Test for Internet Addiction (YDTIA) as well as an inventory including demographic factors and questions about academic performance, computer and Internet use. YDTIA had a good reliability and diagnostic accuracy, tested with Cronbach’s alpha (0.71) and sensitivity analysis. Results show that the percentage of IA (5-8 YDTIA criteria) is 11.6%, while problematic Internet users were (3-8 YDTIA criteria) 34.7%. Men were more likely to be addicted to the Internet than women, and Internet addicted students were associated with poorer academic performance. Multiple logistic regression showed that significant predictors of IA included increased hours of daily Internet use, increased hours visiting chat rooms, sex pages and blogs, male gender, divorced status, poor grades, and accessing the Internet outside of the home. The results of this study will allow health officials to recognise students who are Internet addicted or on the verge of becoming addicted and stress risk factors indicating a need for intervention in order to prevent the appearance of IA. Keywords: Greece, university students, Internet addiction, gender, academic performance, sex pages JEL classification: C83, I10, I21 1. Introduction 1.1 Definition: Internet Addiction The Internet is a widely recognized channel for information exchange, academic research, entertainment, communication and commerce (Moore, 1995; Widyanto and Griffiths, 2006; Douglas et al., 2008; Byun et al., 2009). Although the positive aspects of the 1. Department of Business Administration, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece - e-mail: 2. Division of Medicine, University College London, London, UK 3. Department of Business Administration, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece


Christos C. Frangos, Constantinos C. Frangos and Apostolos P. Kiohos Internet have been readily praised, there is a growing amount of literature on the negative side of its excessive and pathological use (Chou and Hsiao, 2000; Caplan, 2003; Beard, 2005; Frangos and Frangos, 2009). Byun et al. (2009) estimate that 9 million Americans could be labelled as pathological Internet users with unpleasant consequences for their social life, their professional status and their psychological condition (Shapira et al., 2000; Shapira et al., 2003; Young, 2004; Walker, 2006). In the scientific literature, several terms have been proposed to describe pathological Internet use: Internet addiction, cyberspace addiction, Internet addiction disorder, online addiction, Net addiction, Internet addicted disorder, pathological Internet use, high Internet dependency, problematic Internet use and others (Widyanto and Griffiths, 2006; Byun et al., 2009). To date, there is neither a conclusive nor a consistent definition for this disorder, making it difficult to establish a coherent picture of this disorder throughout the world. Nevertheless, efforts are being made to reach one uniform definition, which might also be included in the DSM V, the authoritative guidebook for the diagnoses of psychiatric disorders by the American Psychological Association (Block, 2008). For purposes of this study, we chose the term Internet Addiction (IA) because it was the first term used to describe this phenomenon and for which the...
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