Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
Internet addiction, usage, grati®cation, and pleasure experience: the Taiwan college students' case
Chien Chou*, Ming-Chun Hsiao
Institute of Communication Studies, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta-Hsueh Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan Received 27 September 1999; accepted 14 January 2000
Abstract This study explores Internet addiction among some of the Taiwan's college students. Also covered are a discussion of the Internet as a form of addiction, and related literature on this issue. This study used the Uses and Grati®cations theory and the Play theory in mass communication. Nine hundred and ten valid surveys were collected from 12 universities and colleges around Taiwan. The results indicated that Internet addiction does exist among some of Taiwan's college students. In particular, 54 students were identi®ed as Internet addicts. It was found that Internet addicts spent almost triple the number of hours connected to the Internet as compare to non-addicts, and spent signi®cantly more time on BBSs, the WWW, e-mail and games than non-addicts. The addict group found the Internet entertaining, interesting, interactive, and satisfactory. The addict group rated Internet impacts on their studies and daily life routines signi®cantly more negatively than the non-addict group. The study also found that the most powerful predictor of Internet addiction is the communication pleasure score, followed by BBS use hours, sex, satisfaction score, and e-mail-use hours. 7 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Internet; Internet addiction
1. Introduction Use of the Internet on Taiwan's college campuses and in society has increased dramatically in recent years. While the academic use of Internet is primarily intended for faculty research and communication, the Internet has also become an important part of
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +886-3-5731808; fax: +886-3-5727143. E-mail address: email@example.com (C. Chou). 0360-1315/00/$ - see front matter 7 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 3 6 0 - 1 3 1 5 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 1 9 - 1
not only for their studies and daily routines. usually have free and easily accessible connections. over-involvement with the Internet has occasionally been observed on campus. They logged on to the Internet to chat with other people. In Taiwan. four roommates were busy.-C.'' Kandell (1998) de®ned Internet addiction as ``a psychological dependence on the Internet. TANET still provides convenient and free access to faculties and most students. The Internet may be essentially good. Kandell (1998) gave an analogy that exercise is good and people require it. In Taiwanese society. and create con¯icts with other daily activities or with people around the users. and have fast and free Internet access via school network systems. leading them to produce such addiction-like behaviors? Who is actually addicted to the Internet. Griths (1998) considered Internet addiction to be a kind of technological addiction (such as computer addiction). However. One researcher's student reported that she could not do anything else. He stated that college students as a group appear more vulnerable in developing a dependence on the Internet than any other segment of society. 12). and this has certainly changed the pro®le of the ``computer addict.66
. and felt serious depression and irritability when her network connection was out. Some students remain connected to the Internet virtually the whole day Ð as long as they are awake. and their Internet use is implicitly if not explicitly encouraged. but as in other areas of life. because college students have a strong drive to develop a ®rm sense of identity. All these observations can also be applied to Taiwan's college students. regardless of the type of activity once logged on'' (p. For example. and one in a subset of behavioral addiction (such as compulsive gambling). Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
student life. or ``pathologic Internet use'' (PIU) may cause users time-management or health problems. More than half of them had not used the Internet before entering college. However. too much of a good thing can lead to trouble. Over-involvement with the Internet. but over-exercise may have a destructively negative impact on human health.and technology-oriented university. some college students develop a ``pathologic'' use of the Internet. neither did their parents. which connects all schools and major research institutes. and why are they addicted? Although development of Internet addiction concept is still in its infancy and academic investigations are few in number. Chou. These observations attracted researchers' attention and led us to ask how the Internet hook them so tenaciously. quietly working on their PCs. upon their graduating from college. their roommates! Another observation the researchers made was that some college students ¯unked because they spent too much time on the Internet rather than on their studies. Internet use is similar. but also as a tool for getting to know other people and the rest of the world. The Internet becomes an important part of college students' lives. However. Chou and Tyan (1999) reported this observation: in one dorm at their science. to develop meaningful and intimate relationships. a wide range of users have become cybernetically involved with the Internet. Brenner (1996) argued that because the Internet provides user-friendly interfaces. each one of them is well experienced with the Internet. some anecdotal data and empirical studies have accumulated in recent years. and a convenient medium for checking information and communicating with others. many students separate from their families and move toward an independent life when they enter college. Chou. M. Most of them live in school dormitories. the ®rst network infrastructure is called TANET. Most people use the Internet in healthy and productive ways.
Any behavior that meets the following criteria is operationally de®ned as functionally addictive: 1. state. just like television and newspapers. and 6. 318). What are the dierences in Internet impact on dimensions of daily life between the addict and non-addict groups? 4. such as Internet use. we can suspect that college students may be addicted to Internet if (1)
. con¯ict: con¯icts between addicts and those around them. the purpose of this survey study was to examine Taiwan college students' Internet addiction. p. M. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
2. What are the dierences in Internet usage. salience: a particular activity. tolerance: the process whereby increasing amounts of the particular activity or time are required to achieve the desired eects. as well as consequences such as addictive behavior (McQuail (1994). with other activities. and one in a subset of behavioral addictions. 1996) argument that the Internet is essentialy a mass medium. among others.-C.C. The research questions asked in this study were: 1. In this sense. grati®cation and communication pleasure. withdrawal symptoms: unpleasant feelings. relapse: the tendency for repeated reversions to earlier patterns of the addictive activity to recur. Research assumptions and questions In this exploratory study. The researchers tried to investigate Internet addiction according to a combination of the theory of Uses and Grati®cations and the Play theory in mass communication. 3. 2. which lead to dierential patterns of Internet exposure resulting in needs grati®cation and pleasurable experiences. becomes the most important activity in the subject's life and dominates his or her thinking. and pleasure experience between the addict and non-addict groups? 3. mood modi®cation: subjective experiences people report as a consequence of engaging in the particular activity. or within the individuals themselves. Chou. What are the predictors of Internet addiction?
3. Internet usage. psychology. psychiatry. adopting Morris and Ogan's (Morris & Ogan. 4. 5. Based on these assumptions. Literature review Internet addiction as a new form of addiction has recently received much attention from researchers in sociology. Griths (1998) considered Internet addiction to be a kind of technological addiction. the researchers studied the Internet addiction issue from a communication perspective. needs grati®cation degree. assuming social and psychological origins of needs that generate expectations of the Internet. or physical eects when the particular activity is stopped or curtailed. Who are Internet addicts and how can we screen them? 2.
). They reported negative consequences of Internet use. M. Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). He de®ned ``Internet Addiction Disorder'' by providing seven major diagnostic criteria: hoping to increase time on the network. and so on. dreaming about the network. (2) use of Internet arouses in them a ``high''. (6) they have tried to discontinue or decrease their Internet use. I have attempted to spend less time connected but have been unable to. or psychological problems. (3) they have to spend increasing amounts of time on-line to achieve the desired eect(s). 84% were male and 16% female. the average person scored 11 out of a possible 32 on the IRABI with a standard deviation of 5. However. (4) they feel irritable or moody when they are oline. and studied the network addictive behaviors of 450 valid subjects. etc. More than once. Brenner (1996. troubles that are similar to those found in other
. lying to colleagues about Internet use time. and 10. deadlines. The average survey respondent spent 19 h per week on-line.89. etc. he noted that his ``Internet addicts'' were self-identi®ed but not judged by any validated ``addiction'' checklist. Among them. 1997) examined Internet over-use among a self-selected on-line sample by developing an ``Internet-Related Addictive Behavior Inventory (IRABI) to survey world-wide Internet users. In the ®rst 90 days the surveys were distributed on the WWW. (55%) . missed meals. 563 valid questionnaires out of 654 turn-ins from 25 countries were collected. and established a support group for Internet addicts Ð The Internet Addiction Support Group (IASG). Eighty percent of the respondents at least indicated problems such as failure to manage time. Some respondents reported more serious problems because of Internet use: trouble with employers or social isolation except for Internet friends. having persistent physical.68
C. His results showed a signi®cant dierence between answers from addicted and non-addicted users. and between spending time on the Internet and on studies or sleep. Since the Internet is such a new form of addiction. some researchers. (40%) In his study.6% of the respondents considered themselves addicted to or dependent on the Internet. social. how to measure Internet addiction becomes an important research issue. question the legitimacy of the therapy: using the Internet to help IAD suerers. The IRABI has 32 true± false questions such as . 1996) is the keystone cited by many other studies in this ®eld. Goldberg's paper (Goldberg.-C. I have been told that I spend too much time on the net. teachers or friends. However. Chou. In other words. suggesting that such patterns are in fact the norm. and he concluded that addictive behavior does indeed exist. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
use of Internet becomes the most important activity in their daily lives.. an ``escape from the real world'' or other similar experiences. such as feeling guilty about spending time on the Internet. I have gotten less than 4 h of sleep in a night because I was using the net (not due to studying. such as Squires (1996). (85% of 563 respondents answered yes) . and so on. but reverted back to former use patterns after some time. missed sleep. (5) Internet use causes con¯icts between them and their parents. Egger and Rauterberg (1996) also developed on-line survey questionnaires. Goldberg (1996) is the ®rst person who coined a term to describe such an addiction. the ``Internet addicts'' in his study may not have been bona ®de addicts. and dominates their thinking.
The ®rst study on Taiwan students' Internet addiction was by Chou et al. Young (1998) also developed an eight-item Internet addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (DQ) based on the de®nition of Pathological Gambling from American Psychiatric Association (1995). The Internet addiction scores correlated positively with escape pleasure scores. and 80% were students.-C. Chou. parent±child relationships. Among them. The IRABI questionnaire has a good internal consistency
a 0X87). 1988). Young's conclusion is consistent with Kandell's observation that the MUD games. Dependents predominately used two-way communication functions such as chat rooms. speci®c applications appeared to play a signi®cant role in the development of pathological Internet use.9 h reported by nondependents (with a standard deviation of 4. 1998). Internet relay chat (IRC). self-selected responses out of 605 total responses in a 3-month period. This study also found that time distortion is the major consequence of Internet use. and even expulsion from universities. Young stated that anyone who answered ``yes'' to ®ve or more of the eight questions can be classi®ed as a dependent Internet users. others may be nondependent users. academic probation. M. 396 dependents and 100 nondependents were classi®ed from the DQ. It investigated Internet addiction on the basis of Stephenson's Play Theory of Mass Communication (Stephenson. suggesting that all items measure some unique variance.5 h (with a standard deviation of 8. This study found that the addict group (52 respondents) spent signi®cantly more hours on BBSs and IRCs than the non-addict group (47 respondents).. assuming that using the Internet generates some kind of pleasurable communication experience that draws users to the Internet again and again. e-mail. Among 596 responses. Young used this instrument to collect 596 valid. Other problems created by excessive use of the Internet included disrupted marriages. Most striking was that dependents reported an average of 38. 68 (66. Chou et al. FTP.04 h) per week spent on-line. or e-mail.C. The Internet addiction scores also correlated positively with both BBS use hours and total Internet use hours. Young's 8-item questionnaire seems the simplest and easiest instrument to use. and had signi®cantly higher communication pleasure scores than the non-addict group.7%) were male. and then the WWW. interpersonal relationship pleasure scores. while nondependents used functions available on the Internet to gather information. self-selected samples were collected on-line. and chat rooms are the major activities that may lead people to addiction. Therefore. newsgroups. newsgroups. and that over-use of the Internet ®nally leads them to addiction-like behaviors. and the World Wide Web. The dependent sample included 157 males and 239 females. 1999) and made some modi®cations in it for this study. such as Information Protocols. MUDs. eventually resulting in poor grades. The major concepts underlying these criteria are similar to Griths' (Griths. The results indicated that Internet addiction does indeed exist among some of Taiwan's Internet users. dating relationships. however. Students may experience signi®cant academic problems. Besides the IRABI.70). and all 32 items correlate moderately with the total score. and games. and close friendships. Young concluded from this study that the Internet itself is not addictive. and total communication pleasure scores. the present researchers adopted the IRABI and translated it into Chinese for a prior study (Chou et al. (1999).
. In this study. extended Web sur®ng and compulsive e-mail checking can also create overuse problems. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
addictions. (1999) reported that some Taiwan college students who were considered as ``addicts'' used BBSs (similar to chat rooms) most. 104 valid. compared with the 4.
a therapist. depressed.1. Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a signi®cant relationship. A (Agree). Methods 4. This places the limitation on the external validity of the study. 1996. D (Disagree). anxiety. that is. Chou. The reason why this study used two instruments is to increase the criterion-related validity. Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or relieving a dysphoric mood (e. Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful eorts to control. educational. job. feelings of helplessness. Therefore. Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction? 3.-C.70
C. after Brenner's ``Internet-Related Addictive Behavior Inventory'' (IRABI) (Brenner. or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use? 5. Taiwan's Internet originated at the higher education level and still provided almost free of charge for students. ``ChineseIRABI version II'' (C-IRABI-II). The second part of the survey questionnaire was based on Young's DQ (Young. M. In addition. guilt. The ®rst part. 1998) eight yes±no questions on Internet addiction: 1. however. Do you stay on-line longer than originally intended? 6. the dichotomy was based on the mean of respondents' Internet addiction scores. In this study. or stop Internet use? 4. moody. Have you lied to family members. we decided to use a larger sample drawn systematically from the target population: college students.g. and SD (Strongly disagree). Therefore. Moore (1995) stated that college students are considered at high risk for Internet problems because of their ease of access and ¯exible time schedules. or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet? 8. to provide concurrent evidence of validity of this study. that the demarcation between addicts and nonaddicts should be re-examined carefully. depression)? Young suggested that those who scored ®ve or more can be considered Internet addicts. Do you feel restless. or career opportunity because of the Internet? 7. subjects were required to read the statement and indicate the extent of their agreement or disagreement using one of the options on a 4-point scale: SA (Strongly agree).
4. this part contained 40 Likert-scale questions. cut back. Unlike Brenner's true/false questionnaire. Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous on-line activity or anticipate next on-line session)? 2. The third part asked subjects to mark their motivation and grati®cation levels on 12
. we decided to examine excessive Internet use among Taiwan's college students. the samples were self-selected but not drawn randomly from Taiwan's Internet users. 1997) with some revised questions designed to ®t Taiwan's particular network environment. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
Close review of this study suggests. Instruments The present study developed a survey questionnaire with ®ve parts.
1997) and conducted according to majors and geographic areas. and revisions. dissatis®ed. . Subjects were asked to rate Internet impact on ®ve dimensions of their lives: studies.'' The version this study administered consisted of 27 items on a 5-point Likert scale: SA (Strongly agree). I can say what I really want to say on the Internet. such as communication with other people. A (Agree). neutral. Subjects were required to respond to any item which they thought of as their motivations and then use a 5-point scale after each marked item: very satis®ed. satis®ed.C. From mid-May to late June 1998. which assumes Internet users experience some kind of ``communication pleasure'' when they use the Internet. Chou.
PEIU-II included the items from the user behavior and the intertext. .-C. relationships with parents. Republic of China. M. The ®rst edition of PEIU was presented in Chou et al. Taiwan'' (Administration of Education of Taiwan. D (Disagree). relationships with friends/schoolmates.'' ``It is fun to play roles on the Internet other than my role in real life. N (Neutral). The entire questionnaire was pre-tested.2. . and identi®ed ®ve factors: . the more they use it. interpersonal relationship: the pleasure of communicating with other people on-line.'' ``I feel free and easy because nobody knows who I really am on the Internet. and so on made according to the pretest results. or responsibility. Among them.10. anonymity: the pleasure of being anonymous on-line. The fourth part of the survey questionnaire was ``the pleasure experience from Internet Usage II'' (PEIU-II) developed by the authors.11 and a standard deviation of 2. The ®fth part of the survey questionnaire had 13 questions concerning subjects' demographic data and network usage. Subjects and distribution process The target subjects were all Taiwan college students. such as ``Because of the anonymity. and the more pleasure they experience. and 40% (364) were from female respondents. . Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
listed motivation items. escape: the pleasure of relieving worries. The strati®ed sampling plan was based on the ``Educational Statistics of Republic of China. These items were identi®ed from related literature and prior interviews. intertext: the pleasure from interacting with the text/information. PEIU-II was based on Stephenson's (Stephenson. with a mean age of 21. use behavior: the pleasure of using the Internet. 1988) concepts of communication pleasure. (1999).
. and SD (Strongly disagree). and relationships with teachers on an 8-point scale ranging from positive to negative. Eightyone percent of the respondents were in the 20±25 age range. and very dissatis®ed to indicate the strength of the motivation. such as re-wordings. daily life routines.
4. a total of 910 valid data samples were collected. 60% (546) were from male respondents. searching for information and so on. question ordering. and ®ve extra items added to ``anonymity``. instructions. One thousand two hundred and nine paper-and-pencil survey questionnaires were distributed to 26 departments and graduate programs in 12 universities and colleges around Taiwan.
contributed a total of 52. Internet usage hours and impact ratings. Therefore.1. number of items. Internet use hours 6 4. Three items were dropped from the original 40 items due to their low validity. Two factors (groups of items): anonymity and alternative identi®cation were emerged from items designed to test for anonymity. number of items.833 0. with standard deviation of 16.10. Chou. Results 5. Six factors contributed a total of 56. Table 2 shows the names of the PIEU-II factors. Three items were omitted from the original 27 items due to their low validity. 5. Internet-addiction-related problems 9 2.534 0.-C. and the reliability a was 0. the Internet as a social medium. Alternative identi®cation.72
C. Internet use hours.925
1.15 0. usage hours.02 4. Internet interpersonal relationship dependence.08 10.04 9. the ®nal version of C-IRABI-II. The mean score for C-IRABI-II from 910 valid responses was 80.481 0. the total scores for 37 items (ranging from 37 to 148) for each respondent were their ``Internet Addiction Scores. Thus. and reliability of factors. Factor analysis of C-IRABI-II and PIEU-II The purpose of the exploratory analysis used in this study was to reduce items by deleting invalid ones. and reliability of the factors. Factor analysis of PIEU-II revealed six factors: Entertainment. Questionnaire scores. Close examination revealed that items pertaining to anonymity revealed the pleasure of hiding oneself on the Internet. the researchers accepted that the anonymity pleasure experience is actually two separate factors: anonymity and alternative identi®cation. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
5. The mean score
Table 1 C-IRABI-II factor analysis results Factor name Number of items Variance explained Reliability 13. communication pleasure scores. M. while items pertaining alternative identi®cation revealed the pleasure of playing another role (e.36 5.925. and impact ratings Table 3 lists subjects' Internet addiction scores.95). compulsive Internet use and withdrawal from Internet addiction. and the Internet as replacement for daily activity. explained variances. explained variances. Escape. Internet as a replacement for daily activity 4 Total 37
.'' Table 1 shows the names of the C-IRABI-II factors. males becoming females). Internet interpersonal relationship dependence 3 6.848 0.06 out of a possible total of 8 (SD = 1. Compulsive Internet use and withdrawal from Internet addiction 8 3.4 out of a possible total of 148.14% explained variances. consisted of 37 items.72 52. Interpersonal communication.01% of the explained variance.2.845 0. Anonymity. and Use behavior/Intertext.818 0.g. The mean score for Young's 8 yes/no questions was 2. Factor analysis of C-IRABI-II revealed six factors: problems related to Internet addiction.93 9. Internet as a social medium 7 5.
relationships with friends/schoolmates. Fig. In this study. 1.09 out of a possible total of 120 (SD = 11.84 11. and 1.14 8. Entertainment 2. Use behavior/intertext Total Number of items 6 5 3 4 3 3 24 Variance explained 11.20).88.28 9.843
. actually were so identi®ed. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
for PIEU-II was 74. On an average.01 Reliability 0. Interpersonal communication 6. Addicts' versus non-addicts' Internet use hours and questionnaire scores Statistical results indicated that the 54 Internet addicts spent abut 20±25 h per week on the
Table 2 PIEU-II factor analysis results Factor name 1. 1 shows the numbers of subjects screened out by the two criteria mentioned above.-C. r 0X643.14 out of a possible total of 60 (SD = 8. p ` 0X01X This means these two questionnaires have shared ground in assessing these subjects' addiction level. Anonymity 4. they spent less than one hour on newsgroups and IRC. Thus. relationship with parents.19 6. Internet addicts versus non-addicts Two criteria were selected to distinguish addicts from non-addicts in this study. 4. relationships with teachers. The other 856 subjects were classi®ed as non-addicts. Internet impact on their studies was rated at 4. 54 respondents. The mean of subject satisfaction score was 40.35.797 0.408 0.7%) out as addicts.6% and 8.95. Our second criteria followed Young's suggestion that respondents answering ``yes'' to ®ve or more of her eight questions be considered addicts. Our second criteria screened 125 out of 910 respondents (about 13.58.758 0. 4. M.31 56. 5.739 0. Alternative identi®cation 5. accordingly.80). Subjects spent an average of 5±10 h per week on the Internet.'' Egger and Rauterberg (1996) and Moreahan-Martin and Schumacher (1997) set 10. They spend about 7. The results indicate that these two measurements signi®cantly positively correlated. Chou.1% of their respective samples as the addiction levels.22 h on BBSs.07 h on games. we set as our ®rst criteria that those who scored in the top 10% (110 and above) of the C-IRABI-II were possible addicts. 2. We used the conservative judgement that the intersection of the two groups be considered as Internet addicts by this study.3. daily life routines. that is.663 0.09 h on the WWW.4. 89 subjects were screened out as addicts by the present study. 5. subjects rated Internet impact on various dimensions of their daily lives on an 8-point scale. 5.53 h on e-mail.746 0. Those meeting the two criteria were identi®ed as ``Internet addicts.C.85 h on FTP. 4.26 9. Escape 3.98. A Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to check the relationship between C-IRABI-II and Young's questionnaire scores. 4.
p 0X006. t 2X57. Chou.74
C. 3.28 1.58 h on the WWW. 1.35 5. respectively). the WWW.-C.10 1.09 40. standard deviations.22 4. Note that the addict group's PIEU-II scores were signi®cantly higher than the non-addict group.6 h on BBSs (SD = 7. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
Internet. usage hours. 6.89 4.98
1.47 on games (SD = 9.95 11.44 2.09 1. e-mail. and 5.and p-values. Table 5 shows the PIEU-II score means. respectively). and impact ratings Scores Internet addiction scores (CIRABI-II) Young's 8 addiction questions Communication pleasure scores (PIEU-II) Satisfaction scores Total Internet use hours BBS use hours per week WWW use hours per week E-mail use hours per week Game use hours per week FTP use hours per week Newsgroup use hours per week IRC use hours per week Internet impact ratings on studies Number of subjects 910 910 910 902 910 910 910 910 910 910 910 910 910 Means 80. The two tailed t-test indicated that the addict group spent signi®cantly more hours on BBSs. t. the more positive the impact was rated
. By contrast. Internet addicts spent an average of 17.20 8. the higher the score. standard deviations and satisfaction scores. M.48).20 5.6).95 4.53 2.40 2. p 0X00.88 Standard deviation 16.06 74.66 h on BBSs (SD = 18.68 1.
Table 3 Questionnaire scores.80 9.47 h on e-mail (SD = 4.81 Note Possible total 148 Possible total 8 Possible total 120 Possible total 60
Daily life routines Relationship with friends/ schoolmates Relationship with parents Relationship with teachers
910 910 910 910
4.14 5±10 hours per week 7.85 0.94 h on the WWW (SD = 5.96 1.00 6.29
Possible score range from 1 to 8. p 0X000. 3. and Young's criteria for each group.07 1. p 0X025. along with their respective t. and the associated t-values.2). Table 4 lists the means and standard deviations for each Internet application for each group.30). p 0X000. and their satisfaction scores were also signi®cantly higher than the non-addicts group
t 9X13. t 2X32.36 1.42 h on e-mail (SD = 2. Table 5 also includes the C-IRABI-II means. t 2X85.61 0.9). p 0X013. non-addicts spent an average of 6. while non-addicts spent abut 5±10 h. t 4X29.and p-values.76 6.11 2.58 4.28 2. and games than the non-addict group
23 2.76 4. respectively. parents and teachers.05. p 0X00.28 3. Table 6 lists the Internet impact ratings of the addict group and the non-addict group. M.05 1. 1.66 6.5.03 2.69 6. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
Fig.96 5. the addict group and the non-addict group both indicated highly positive impacts on their relationships with friends/schoolmates.006a 0.5. It is worth noting that the addict group expressed negative Internet impacts on their studies and daily life routines (means = 3.215 0. a stepwise regression analysis was conducted in which C-IRABI-II scores
Table 4 Means and standard deviations for Internet applications and respective t-values Application use hours per week Addict group (n = 54) Mean BBS WWW E-mail Games FTP Newsgroup IRC
Non-addict group (n = 856) Mean 6. t À3X586.26 2.013b 0.26 1.025b 0. Chou.59 5.60 3.32 2. both were below the median score of 4.50 4.47 5.-C.01.47 1.42 1.000a 0.162
p < 0.63 9.77
4.85 2.889 0.30 7.C.78 SD 7.48 9.97
17. p 0X001). p < 0. The numbers of subjects screened out by two criteria.94 1.57 À0.5).58 3.86 0. 5.42
0. Regression analysis of internet addiction One of the research question of this study was. On the other hand.72 1.87 1.
Comparing the self-ratings of Internet impact on students' lives revealed that the addict group rated Internet impact on their studies and daily life routines signi®cantly lower than the non-addict group
t À4X723.56 0.14 1.
. What are the predictors of Internet addiction? Therefore.44 2. There were no signi®cant dierences between addict groups' ratings and non-addict groups' ratings of impacts on relationships with friends/schoolmates.64 and 3.
07 7.90 8.97 5.01.49 7.229
p < 0.63 44. and PIEU-II scores were the independent variables.000a 0. and the e-mail use hours. satisfaction score. WWW use hours. sex.70 4.01. BBS use hours.86 1.83 14.39
9. game use hours.22
0.274 0.29 25. Discussions and conclusion The purpose of this study was to investigate Taiwan's college students' Internet addiction.87 1.00 SD 1.000a
p < 0.-C.71 1.66
3.60 4.36 39.56 3. 6.67 1. and grati®cation and communication pleasures.09 6. while subject sex.10 À1.26
SD 1.44 1.98 25. Therefore. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
Table 5 The addict groups' and non-addict groups' scores of individual measures Scores Addict group (n = 54) Mean PIEU-II Satisfaction score C-IRABI-II Young's 8 criteria
Non-addict group (n = 856) Mean 73.72
were the dependent variables.77 1.40 5. satisfaction scores.58 À1. e-mail use hours.65 1.
. Note that game use hours and WWW use hours were not included in this regression formula due to their low prediction powers.78 SD 10.13 4.22 4.95 4.76
C.46 À1.000a 0.87 78. Table 7 shows the regression model of Internet addiction.000a 0.70 108.151 0.25 1.64
SD 9. followed by BBS use hours.50 5. The analysis generated the following formula: C-IRABI-II score 0X45 PIEU-II score 0X301 BBS use hour 0X106 sex 0X106 satisfaction score 0X082 e-mail use hour.72
0.32 1.000a 0. Chou.001a 0. M.25
Table 6 The ratings of Internet impacts on students' lives Internet impacts on Addict group (n = 54) Mean Studies Daily life routines Relationships with friends/schoolmates Relationships with parents Relationships with teachers
Non-addict group (n = 856) Mean 4.79 1. their Internet usage patterns.98 1.72 À3. indicting that the most powerful predictor of Internet addiction was the PIEU-II score.
However. 3.C. college students can not only post information.. students have a variety of needs (social. was originally designed only to distribute information. Some students may tend towards over-involvement with or pathological use of the Internet. similar to newsgroups. 1999) in which the only signi®cant dierences were BBS and IRC use hours between the addict group and non-addict group.659 0. BBS as its name suggests.) to use the Internet. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
paper questionnaire was administered to a strati®ed sample of 1209 college students and 910 valid responses were collected. BBSs have become important social tools for students to communicate with other people. because of the interactivity inherent in electronic BBSs.106 0.6 and Morahan-Martin and Schemacher's (Morahan-Martin & Schemacher. According to the theories of Usage and Grati®cation. This study's results indicate that college Internet addicts spent about 17 h per week on BBSs.493 S. but also respond to the postings of others.47 h on e-mail.469. 54 Internet addicts were screened out by the CIRABI-II and Young's criteria. which were signi®cantly higher than the non-addicts' 6. The results indicate that Internet addiction does exist among some Taiwan college students.945 0.42 h. similar to general ``chatrooms. probably because we used two criteria simultaneously to screen for possible addicts.517 3. In this study.E. In fact. Chou.106 0. e-mail. the WWW.000 0.'' Therefore.000 0.044 0. M.6. etc. WWW. 1997) 10.9%. In particular. BBS.008
R 2 = 0.449 0. Informal follow-up interviews with some of our respondents indicated that BBSs were indeed the most popular Internet application on Taiwan's campuses. about 6. 1997) 8.450 0.082 Signi®cance 0.) and result in varying degree of grati®cation and pleasure experience. WWW. which lead to dierent degrees of exposure to Internet applications (BBS.
. lower than Brenner's (Brenner.055 0. and the theory of Communication Play.184 b 0. Taiwan's BBSs also allow users to chat with many people. followed by the WWW and e-mail. This result diers a bit from the results of previous study (Chou et al. This is consistent with Kandell's (Kandell.000 0. The percentage of addicts in this study's sample was about 5. Our results indicate that Internet addicts spent almost triple the number of hours on the Internet as a group than the non-addicts.1%. Gradually BBSs have become forums for discussions on various topics. or to talk to particular users and groups of users. 1998) observation that frequent e-mail checking is also a major activity that may lead people to addiction. academic work. etc.193 0. and 1. and gradually develop
Table 7 The regression model of Internet addictiona Dependent variable C-IRABC-II Predicting variables PIEU-II scores BBS use hour Sex Satisfaction score E-mail use hour B 0.301 0.054 0.5 h on the WWW and about 3. e-mail and games than non-addicts. 0. e-mail and games are four popular applications among Taiwan college students.000 0. Internet addicts spent signi®cantly more time on BBSs.94.-C.
-C. Comparing the addict group's and the non-addict group's scores of their self-reported pleasure experience and satisfaction showed that the addict group scored signi®cantly higher on PIEU-II and satisfaction measurements. sleep.'' Parents may only know that their children are on the net. it was found that the self-reported communication pleasure experience was the most powerful predictor. This is an interesting topic worthy of further study. and the Internet itself is highly appraised and promoted by society in general. and so they were more satis®ed with their Internet usage. and the e-mail use h. both the addict and non-addict groups rated the Internet impacts on their relationships with friends/ schoolmates positively. The addict group rated impacts on these two dimensions signi®cantly more negatively than the non-addict group. As to teacher-relationship aspect. some students said that the Internet gives them an extra channel to communicate with teachers. you are not alone. This ``accompany'' function is even better than that of a television set or a radio. but do not know what they are actually doing with it. the addict group in this study rated impacts toward the negative end in two dimensions: study and daily life routines. One respondent said her family was proud of her ability to use the Internet. The interviewed students explained that the Internet gives them chances to meet new people. fun. ``They think I use my computer because I am working hard on my studies. and I will appreciate them more. ``If teachers answer my e-mail. Taiwan's parents may not be aware of the Internet's possible negative impacts on their children. the more likely he or she is to become addicted to the Internet. sex. and the next most powerful predictors were BBS use hours. 1998) reported that Internet dependents gradually spent less time with family and friends in exchange for solitary time in front of their computers. partially because the majority of college students use the Internet when they are on campus. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
addictive tendencies. and interactive.'' one of our interviewees said. Should teachers use the Internet more to communicate with their students and to enter ``students groups''? Should teachers encourage students to use the Internet to communicate with teachers? How about those students who are already over-
. due to time con¯icts or others reasons. tools for communicating with old friends. reports high satisfaction with using the Internet. the more one experiences the pleasure of using the Internet and BBSs. The Internet is indeed the window through which students communicate and interact with the world.78
C. Young's study (Young. and they do not just passively receive the information from outside. satisfaction score. because the interactive feature of the Internet enables them to connect with others at any time. Chou. such as meals. and creates more topics to share with them. This may be true of some of Taiwan Internet users. provides extra. appointments and classes. However. This means that the addict group felt that the Internet is more entertaining. How about the worlds of their parents and teachers? The results showed that the addict and non-addict groups both rated these two dimensions in the middle-to-positive range. Can we predict who is more likely to become addicted to the Internet? Based on the measurements in this study. and uses e-mail. ``You know somebody is always out there. if not the major. I think they are in my group. however. the data in this study did not report disrupted relationships with parents.'' one interviewed student said. What impact does the Internet have on addicts' daily lives? On an average. they thought the Internet could help them escape from their real-world responsibilities and identi®cation. In other words. Males are also more likely to become Internet addicts. M.
).physics. Egger.com/prep/pap/pap8b/638b/012p. Taipei. Brenner. and the Internet addiction issue will become more and more obvious and perhaps serious. (1994). CyberPsychology and Behavior.txt.. Internet addiction disorder. The second author of the earlier version was Dr. (1996). [On-Line] Available at http://www. J. (1996). [On-line] Available at http://www. Moore.wisc. Incidence and correlates of pathological Internet use. M. interpersonal. (1998). Brenner. N. collected empirical data from Taiwan college students. Goldberg. Hsiao / Computers & Education 35 (2000) 65±80
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