Internet Addiction<br />Daria Levin<br />Argosy University<br />
Abstract<br />Internet addiction has yet to be defined as a disorder in the DSM-IV but has been a growing problem world wide. Many Psychologists have given the term Internet addiction a definition of their own but each definition differs. Some believe it could fall under the diagnostic category of substance abuse while others feel it is an impulse control disorder. After extensive research, Internet addiction possesses characteristics of both a substance abuse disorder and an impulse control disorder and should be treated accordingly.<br />
Goldberg’s Definition for Internet Addiction<br /><ul><li>Goldberg (2001) described Internet addiction as “a behavioral addiction that serves as a coping mechanism and borrows from substance-dependence criteria for the DSM-IV” (Hall and Parsons, p. 313). He labeled this disorder as Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD).</li></li></ul><li>Young’s Definition for Internet Addiction<br /><ul><li>Young concluded that Internet addiction does indeed exist and must involve preoccupation with the internet, a need for longer amounts of time online, repeated attempts to reduce internet use, withdrawal when reducing internet use, time management issues, environmental distress, deception around time spent online, and mood modification through internet use (Hall and Parsons, 2001). Young labeled this Problematic Internet Use (PIU).</li></li></ul><li>Hall and Parson’s Definition for Internet Addiction<br /><ul><li>Hall and Parsons concluded that internet addicted people demonstrate a dependence including the following: Failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home; longer use with less enjoyment; restlessness; irritability, and anxiety when not using; extended use with unsuccessful attempts to cut down, control, or stop use; and continued use despite knowledge of physical, psychological, and social problems (Hall and Parsons, 2001, p. 314). They labeled this Internet Behavior Dependence (IBD).</li></li></ul><li>Questionnaires Used To Determine Internet Addiction<br /><ul><li>Young’s Diagnositic Questionnaire (YDQ)
Goldberg’s Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) Scale
Marahan-Martin and Shumacher’s Pathological Internet Use (PIU)</li></li></ul><li>Symptoms, Personality Traits, and Behavioral Problems Associated with Internet Addiction<br /><ul><li>High School students who use the internet to excess report and subsequently exhibit significantly more psychiatric symptoms than students who use the internet less frequently (Yang, Choe, Baity, Lee, and Cho, 2005)
Students who use the internet in excess tend to possess an increased likelihood of Axis I psychiatric disorders, increased social isolation, a decreased sense of well-being, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem (Yang et. al, 2005)
Those who abuse the internet experience more negative consequences such as poor school work, expulsion, social isolation, and disrupted daily routines (Lin, Lin, and Wu, 2007).</li></li></ul><li>Internet Addiction Compared to Substance Abuse Disorder<br /><ul><li> Criteria for substance abuse that applies to Internet addiction:
Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home
Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (DSM-IV-TR, 2000)</li></li></ul><li>Internet Addiction Compared to Impulse Control Disorder<br /><ul><li> Criteria for impulse control disorder such as gambling that applies to Internet addiction:
The significant loss of a relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling</li></li></ul><li>Internet Addiction Defined<br />Internet addiction is a persistent and recurrent maladaptive behavior (excessive internet use), leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. <br />
Internet Addiction Criteria<br />Preoccupation with the internet<br />Withdrawal symptoms (restlessness or irritability)<br />Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop using the internet<br />Jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of the internet<br />
Internet Addiction Conclusion<br />As technology advances, so will the number of people who use the internet. Internet addiction should not be automatically thrown into an existing diagnostical category, but should be studied, picked apart, and explored, until a clear and concise definition is established.<br />
References<br /><ul><li>Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-TR (2000). American Psychiatric Association. Washington, DC.
Hall, A., and Parsons, J. (2001). Internet Addiction: College student case study using best practices in cognitive behavior therapy. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 23, 4, 312-327
Lin, C., Lin, S., and Wu, C. (2009). The effects of parental monitoring and leisure boredom of adolescents’ internet addiction. Adolescence, 44, 176.
Yang, C., Choe, B., Baity, M., Lee, J., and Cho, J. (2005). SCL-90-R and 16PF profiles of senior high school students with excessive internet use. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 50, 7.</li>