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Re-visiting Internet Addiction among Taiwanese Students: A Cross-Sectional Comparison of Students’ Expectations, Online Gaming, and Online Social Interaction

Abstract

Using expectancy theory, this study aimed at identifying the attitudinal/behavioral factors that explain the relationship between Internet expectancies and Internet addiction among Taiwanese adolescents. A total of 25,573 students (49.8 % boys and 50.2 % girls) across junior and senior high schools participated in the study. The students reported on their background characteristics, general expectations from the Internet, attitudes toward online social interaction and online gaming, preferences in online social interaction, and dys-controlled online gaming behavior. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the indirect effects of Internet expectancies on Internet addiction through these attitudinal/behavioral factors. The results showed that Internet expectancies positively predicted students’ attitudes toward online games and online social interaction, which in turn predicted their respective preferences or dys-controlled behavior and Internet addiction. The indirect effect of Internet expectancies was higher on Internet addiction via attitudes toward online gaming and dys-controlled online gaming than via attitudes toward and preferences of online social interaction. The indirect effects exhibited a larger impact on boys than on girls. The authors recommend that the expectancies of online gaming and social interaction be addressed in efforts to prevent and attenuate the severity of adolescent Internet addiction.

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Acknowledgement

This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan under grant number MOST 100-2511-S-009-MY3. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript.

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The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Chien Chou.

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Lee, YH., Ko, CH. & Chou, C. Re-visiting Internet Addiction among Taiwanese Students: A Cross-Sectional Comparison of Students’ Expectations, Online Gaming, and Online Social Interaction. J Abnorm Child Psychol 43, 589–599 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-014-9915-4

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Keywords

  • Internet expectancy
  • Gender differences
  • Online interaction
  • Online gaming
  • Internet addiction