Internet Addiction and Perceived Self-Efficacy Among University Students
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Much concern has been raised of late regarding factors predicting vulnerability to addictive behaviors in general and most recently those related to the newly emerging area of risk of excessive and addictive patterns of use on the internet, including social media and gaming. The current study was designed to investigate the relationship between levels of addictive patterns of internet usage (as related to social media) and perceived self-efficacy among university-aged students in Palestine (a country with some of the highest levels of internet addiction). The sample consisted of 505 university students, selected randomly across area of study. Results indicated a high negative relationship between excessive internet use/addictive patterns of use and perceived self-efficacy. Findings conversely showed no significant differences in internet addiction and perceived self-efficacy dependent on area of study, gender, age or academic level. These conclusions illuminate concerns related to factors of vulnerability as well as possible negative effects of excessive internet use and self-efficacy, especially in the highly sensitive group of university students where behavioral patterns may lead to lifelong habits and/or interfere with developmental and educational tasks and demands. In addition, as self-efficacy is known to be a risk factor in both symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation, further research into this relationship may be critical in devising interventions to both reduce internet addiction and increase self-efficacy during the critical life period of late adolescence.
KeywordsAddiction Internet addiction Self-efficacy Late adolescence risk factors
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