Internet Addiction in Adolescents

Open access


The possibilities offered by the use of the Internet increasingly intensify the problem of Internet addiction, which has become more prevalent in the last decade, marked by the growing availability of mobile devices and new media and their exacerbation of the problem. Research on Internet addiction, initiated by Kimberly Young at the end of the twentieth century, usually appears in the literature in the context of young people who have been found to be most vulnerable. The phenomenon is known as Adolescent Internet Addiction. Compulsive use of the Internet is a complex phenomenon, its effects being visible in almost all aspects of a young person’s social life. It is manifested in a variety of pathological behaviors and emotional states grouped into several major psycho-physical and social effects that may appear simultaneously, e.g. anger, depression, loneliness or anxiety associated with the lack of access to the network, the weakening of social ties, withdrawal from real life, lack of educational achievement, chronic fatigue or deteriorating health. The authors of this study aim to assess the level of Internet addiction among adolescents in Poland and indicate its main behavioral manifestations, in the students surveyed, which influence their pathological use of the Internet. Our study involved a total of 505 students from three high schools located in Rzeszow (N = 505) and was carried out by questionnaires, including, among others, The Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI) which is the Polish adaptation of Kimberly Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT) (Cronbach’s α = 0.89). Statistical analysis of responses from the PUI test allowed us to determine (1) the level of Internet addiction among these adolescents, whereas the univariate (ANOVA) analysis enabled us (2) to verify the hypothesis of the existence of differences in the level of Internet addiction among the investigated groups as far as gender, place of residence or grade are concerned. Generally, the results obtained in our research indicate that the level of Internet addiction among the adolescents investigated is not very high, although two thirds of our respondents showed an above average level of addiction, and every ninth respondent (approximately 11%) was highly addicted to the Internet, men being more often addicted (15.6%) than women (8.3%).

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Aydm B. & San S. V. (2011). Internet addiction among adolescents: The role of self-esteem. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences15 3500-3505.

  • Bednarek J. & Andrzejewska A. (2009). Cyberświatmożliwości i zagrożenia. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Akademickie Żak Teresa i Józef Śniecińscy.

  • Blinka L. & Smahel D. (2011). Addiction to Online Role-Playing Games. In K. S. Young & N. C. de Abreu (Eds.) Internet Addiction. A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment. Hoboken N.J.: John Wiley and Sons.

  • Chou C. Condron L. & Belland J. C. (2005). A Review of the Research on Internet Addiction. Educational Psychology Review17 (4) 363-388.

  • Davis R. A. (2001). A cognitive-behavioral model of pathological Internet use. Computers in Human Behavior17 (2) 187-195.

  • Dodge Y. (2008). The concise encyclopedia of statistics. New York: Springer.

  • Douglas A. C. Mills J. E. Niang M. Stepchenkova S. Byun S. Ruffini C. et al. & lanton M. (2008). Internet addiction: Meta-synthesis of qualitative research for the decade 1996–2006. Computers in Human Behavior24 (6) 3027-3044.

  • Gajda J. (2011). Uzależnienie od Internetu w świetle dotychczasowych badań. Retrieved from [05.05.2016].

  • Griffiths M. (2000). Does Internet and Computer ‘Addiction’ Exist? Some Case Study Evidence. CyberPsychology & Behavior3 (2) 211-218.

  • Guerreschi C. Marazziti M. & Wieczorek-Niebielska A. (2006). Nowe uzależnienia. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Salwator.

  • Kirwil L. (2011). Polskie dzieci w Internecie. Zagrożenia i bezpieczeństwo – część 2. Częściowy raport z badań EU Kids Online II przeprowadzonych wśród dzieci w wieku 9-16 lat i ich rodziców. Warszawa: SWSP.

  • Ko C.-H. Yen J.-Y. Chen C.-C. Chen S.-H. Wu K. & Yen C.-F. (2006). Tridimensional personality of adolescents with internet addiction and substance use experience. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie51 (14) 887-894.

  • Kołłątaj B. Szakuła J. Kołłątaj W. Wrzołek K. & Karwat I. D. (2013). Problem uzależnienia od Internetu wśród uczniów szkół ponadpodstawowych w Lublinie. Journal of Health Sciences3 (5) 191-224.

  • Kuss D. J. Shorter G. W. van Rooij A. J. Griffiths M. D. & Schoenmakers T. M. (2013). Assessing Internet Addiction Using the Parsimonious Internet Addiction Components Model – A Preliminary Study. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

  • Kuss D. J. van Rooij A. J. Shorter G. W. Griffiths M. D. & van de Mheen D. (2013). Internet addiction in adolescents: Prevalence and risk factors. Computers in Human Behavior29 (5) 1987-1996.

  • Lai C. M. Mak K. K. Watanabe H. Jeong J. Kim D. Bahar N. et al. & Cheng C. (2015). The mediating role of Internet addiction in depression social anxiety and psychosocial well-being among adolescents in six Asian countries: a structural equation modelling approach. Public Health129 (9) 1224-1236.

  • Leung L. (2007). Stressful Life Events Motives for Internet Use and Social Support Among Digital Kids. CyberPsychology & Behavior10 (2) 204-214.

  • Livingstone S. Haddon L. Görzig A. & Ólafsson K. (2011). Risks and safety on the internet: the perspective of European children. Full findings. (EU Kids Online). London: LSE.

  • Majchrzak P. & Ogińska-Bulik N. (2010). Uzależnienie od Internetu. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Akademii Humanistyczno-Ekonomicznej.

  • Mossbarger B. (2008). Is ‘Internet addiction’ addressed in the classroom? A survey of psychology textbooks. Computers in Human Behavior24 (2) 468-474.

  • Ni X. Yan H. Chen S. & Liu Z. (2009). Factors Influencing Internet Addiction in a Sample of Freshmen University Students in China. CyberPsychology & Behavior12 (3) 327-330.

  • Pawłowska B. & Potembska E. (2010). Gender and severity of Internet addiction symptoms as shown by lower and upper secondary school students. Current Problems of Psychiatry11 (1) 38-41.

  • Poprawa R. (2011). Test problematycznego używania Internetu. Adaptacja i ocena psychometryczna Internet Addiction Test K. Young. Przegląd Psychologiczny54 (2) 193-216.

  • Potembska E. & Pawłowska B. (2010). Age and severity of Internet addiction as shown by lower and upper secondary school students. Current Problems of Psychiatry11 (1) 42-46.

  • Rębisz S. Sikora I. & Smoleń-Rębisz K. (2016). Poczucie samotności a poziom uzależnienia od Internetu wśród adolescentów. Edukacja – Technika – Informatyka15 (1).

  • Rubacha K. (2008). Metodologia badań nad edukacją. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Akademickie i Profesjonalne.

  • Shapira N. A. Lessig M. C. Goldsmith T. D. Szabo S. T. Lazoritz M. Gold M. S. & Stein D. J. (2003). Problematic internet use: Proposed classification and diagnostic criteria. Depression and Anxiety17 (4) 207-216.

  • Waldo A. D. (2014). Correlates of Internet Addiction among Adolescents. Psychology05 (18) 1999-2008.

  • Wąsiński A. & Tomczyk Ł. (2015). Factors reducing the risk of internet addiction in young people in their home environment. Children and Youth Services Review57 68-74.

  • World Internet Project. Poland. (2012). Warszawa Agora SA i Orange Polska.

  • Woronowicz B. T. (2001). Bez tajemnic: o uzależnieniach i ich leczeniu. Warszawa: Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii.

  • Yang C.-K. (2001). Sociopsychiatric characteristics of adolescents who use computers to excess. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica104 (3) 217-222.

  • Yao M. Z. & Zhong Z. (2014). Loneliness social contacts and Internet addiction: A cross-lagged panel study. Computers in Human Behavior30 164-170.

  • Yellowlees P. M. & Marks S. (2007). Problematic Internet use or Internet addiction? Computers in Human Behavior23 (3) 1447-1453.

  • Yen J.-Y. Ko C.-H. Yen C.-F. Chen C.-S. & Chen C.-C. (2009). The association between harmful alcohol use and Internet addiction among college students: Comparison of personality: Internet addiction and alcohol use. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences63 (2) 218-224.

  • Young K. S. (1998). Caught in the net: how to recognize the signs of Internet addiction--and a winning strategy for recovery. New York: J. Wiley.

  • Young K. S. (1998). Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Clinical Disorder. CyberPsychology & Behavior1 (3) 237-244.

  • Yu J. J. Kim H. & Hay I. (2013). Understanding adolescents’ problematic Internet use from a social/cognitive and addiction research framework. Computers in Human Behavior29 (6) 2682–2689.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 3751 2463 190
PDF Downloads 2410 1693 87