Potential determinants of heavier internet usage

Lynette Armstrong, James Gavin Phillips, Lauren Leigh Saling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Despite its uses, the Internet is liable to be abused. Internet Addiction is a newly proposed construct, derived form DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse. As a very recent phenomenon, excess internet use probably arises through preexisting mechanisms. The addictive element may be the search for stimulation through interactive services, or the Internet may serve the purpose of an escape from real-life disculties. We therefore considered the extent to which sensation seeking or poor self-esteem predicts heavier Internet use. Fifty participants, recruited through the Internet or the Internet Addiction Support Group, completed an Internet Related Problem Scale, the MMPI-2 Addiction Potential Scale, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory and the Sensation Seeking Scale. The Internet Related Problem Scale showed a moderate level of internal consistency and demonstrated construct validity, predicting hours of Internet use and having a relationship with the Addiction Potential Scale. While poorer self-esteem predicted greater scores on the Internet Related Problem Scale, impulsivity did not. Researchers need to re-assess previous conceptualizations of the typical computer addict as a highly educated, male introvert with a constant need for intellectual stimulation (Shotton, 1991).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118 - 127
Number of pages10
JournalWiadomosci Psychiatryczne
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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