Internet Addiction Among University Students in Kuwait

Kuwait University
Digest of Middle East Studies 03/2010; 18(2):4 - 16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1949-3606.2009.tb01101.x
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    ABSTRACT: The research was inspired by comments from the press and concerned academics who suggested that computer use could convert 'normal' people into antisocial, machine-code junkies. Contrary to such opinions, the computer-dependent individuals who took part in the study were intelligent, interesting, hospitable, but misunderstood people, who from experience had learned to mistrust humans. Instead from an early age, they had turned to the safe and predictable world of the inanimate, and by exploring their environments had become true scientists and philosophers. Their responses were far from neurotic, instead they were logical coping strategies which allowed them to make sense of the world within which they lived. They were pursuing an interest which not only provided intellectual challenge and excitement in infinite variety, but for most also enabled them to turn a fascinating hobby into a successful means of earning a living; an ideal to which most would aspire.
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    ABSTRACT: The current study introduced a theory-driven, multidimensional measure of problematic Internet use: the Online Cognition Scale (OCS). Undergraduate students (n = 211) in an industrial/organizational psychology course completed the OCS, along with measures of procrastination, rejection sensitivity, loneliness, depression, and impulsivity. A confirmatory factor analysis indicated that problematic Internet use consists of four dimensions: diminished impulse control, loneliness/depression, social comfort, and distraction. As hypothesized, the OCS predicted all of the study variables in the expected directions. Representing a departure from previous research in this area, the current article focused on procrastination, impulsivity, and social rejection as key elements of problematic Internet use. Furthermore, interactive applications (e.g., chat) were most related to problematic Internet use, and scores on the OCS predicted being reprimanded at school or work for inappropriate Internet use. As a result, the utility of the OCS for both clinical assessment of Internet addiction and as an organizational preemployment screening measure to identify potential employees who are likely to abuse the Internet in the workplace (also known as "cyberslacking") were discussed.
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