The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating role of psychological needs in the association between individualism and internet addiction.
A mixed-method design was used by comprising of 602 college students’ (70.3 percent women) responses obtained through the Individualism-Collectivism Survey, New Needs Assessment Questionnaire, and Internet Addiction Scale. Structural equation modeling techniques were used to investigate the theoretical relationships among the constructs. Constant comparative method was employed to analyze qualitative data that resulted from the transcription of semi-structured interviews with 12 field experts.
Quantitative results showed that individualism has a significant effect on internet addiction through affiliation, dominance, achievement, and autonomy (i.e. psychological needs). As students’ needs for dominance, achievement, and autonomy increased their internet addiction levels decreased. However, increase in the need of affiliation led to increase in the likelihood of internet addiction. Qualitative findings suggested alternative ways to satisfy psychological needs in socially more proper ways.
Psychological needs and internet addiction have long been investigated both independently and in relation to each other. However, the investigation of espoused culture (i.e. individualism) in relation to psychological needs and internet addiction is relatively recent. A review of the recent literature showed that an investigation of the mediating role of psychological needs in the effect of individualism on internet addiction is highly original. Moreover, initial quantitative results and follow-up qualitative findings help the authors understand psychological needs underlying internet addiction and suggest socially more appropriate means to satisfy these needs. Findings have theoretical values for researchers as well as practical values for those who work with students.
Arpaci, I., Kesici, Ş. and Baloğlu, M. (2018), "Individualism and internet addiction: the mediating role of psychological needs", Internet Research, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 293-314. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-11-2016-0353Download as .RIS
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