Prevalence of Pathological Internet Use among University Students and Correlations with Self-Esteem, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and Disinhibition

  • Niemz K
  • Griffiths M
  • Banyard P
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Abstract

Over the last few years, there has been increased interest in the addictive potential of the Internet. The current study was an attempt to replicate common findings in the literature and provide more evidence for the existence of Internet addiction among students--a population considered to be especially vulnerable. A total of 371 British students responded to the questionnaire, which included the Pathological Internet Use (PIU) scale, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), a self-esteem scale, and two measures of disinhibition. Results showed that 18.3% of the sample were considered to be pathological Internet users, whose excessive use of the Internet was causing academic, social, and interpersonal problems. Other results showed that pathological Internet users had lower self-esteem and were more socially disinhibited. However, there was no significant difference in GHQ scores. These results are discussed in relation to the methodological shortcomings of research in the area as a whole.

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Authors

  • Katie Niemz

  • Mark Griffiths

  • Phil Banyard

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