Internet Use among University Students in South West Bank: Prevalence, Advantages and Disadvantages, and Association with Psychological Health

Abstract

University students are frequently using the Internet for educational purposes and for other purposes. Recently, there is a debate on advantages and disadvantages of Internet use and its effects on the students’ psychological health. This study examines the prevalence of Internet use, its advantages and disadvantages, and its relationship with the psychological health of university students in the southern part of the West Bank. Mixed methods employing sequential exploratory design were used. Three focused groups were included to inform the development of the cross-sectional survey. Then, a convenience sample of 144 students from three universities in the south West Bank completed the survey. The results revealed that 96 % of university students reported using the Internet. Different advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet among students were emphasized. A high rate of Internet use was associated with students’ poor psychological health. Internet use has negative and positive educational, social and psychological consequences for students. However, advantages of Internet use were shown to be more than its disadvantages.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Adalıer, A., & Balkan, E. (2012). The relationship between internet addiction and psychological symptoms. International Journal of Global Education, 1(2). Retrieved from http://www.ijge.net/ojs/index.php/ijge/article/view/72

  2. Al-Gamal, E., Alzayyat, A., & Ahmad, M. M. (2015). Prevalence of internet addiction and its association with psychological distress and coping strategies among university students in Jordan. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. doi:10.1111/ppc.12102.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Alhajjar, B. I. (2014). Internet addiction and psychological morbidity among nursing students in Gaza-Palestine. American Journal of Applied Psychology, 3(4), 99–103.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Al-Qudah, K. (2012). Internet addiction among students at Jordanian universities. Journal of Arabic and Human Sciences, 4(2), 71–88. Retrieved from http://publications.qu.edu.sa/ojs/index.php/arab/index

  5. Alzayyat, A., Al-Gamal, E., & Ahmad, M. M. (2015). Psychosocial correlates of internet addiction among Jordanian university students. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 53(4), 43–51.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Bosch, T. E. (2009). Using online social networking for teaching and learning: Facebook use at the University of Cape Town. Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research, 35(2), 185–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chen, Y. F., & Peng, S. S. (2008). University students’ internet use and its relationships with academic performance, interpersonal relationships, psychosocial adjustment, and self-evaluation. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 11, 467–469.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Christakis, D. A. (2010). Internet addiction: a 21st century epidemic? BMC Medicine, 8(1), 61. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-61.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. Christakis, D. A., Moreno, M. M., Jelenchick, L., Myaing, M. T., & Zhou, C. (2011). Problematic internet usage in US college students: a pilot study. BMC Medicine, 9(1), 77. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-77.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Frangos, C., Frangos, C., & Sotiropoulos, I. (2011). Problematic internet use among Greek university students: an ordinal logistic regression with risk factors of negative psychological beliefs, pornographic sites, and online games. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 14(1–2), 51–58. doi:10.1089/cyber.2009.0306.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Jones, S., Johnson-Yale, C., Millermaier, S., & Pérez, F. S. (2009). US college students’ internet use: race, gender and digital divides. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(2), 244–264.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Junco, R. (2012). The relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement. Computers & Education, 58(1), 162–171.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kim, J., LaRose, R., & Peng, W. (2009). Loneliness as the cause and the effect of problematic internet use: the relationship between internet use and psychological well-being. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 451–455.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kirschner, P. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook® and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1237–1245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Ko, C. H., Yen, J. Y., Chen, C. S., Chen, C. C., & Yen, C. F. (2008). Psychiatric comorbidity of internet addiction in college students: an interview study. CNS Spectrums, 13(02), 147–153. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0102.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Koc, M. (2011). Internet addiction and psychopathology. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 10(1), 143–148.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Myers, C. (2011). How the Internet is revolutionizing education. Retrieved from http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/05/ 14/how-the-Internet-is-revolutionizing-education

  18. Ni, X., Yan, H., Chen, S., & Liu, Z. (2009). Factors influencing internet addiction in a sample of freshmen university students in China. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 12(3), 327–330. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0321.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Rouis, S., Limayem, M., & Salehi-Sangari, E. (2011). Impact of Facebook usage on students’ academic achievement: role of self-regulation and trust. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 9(3), 961–994.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Shields, N., & Kane, J. (2011). Social and psychological correlates of internet use among college students. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 5(1). Retrieved from http://www.cyberpsychology.eu/view.php?cisloclanku=2011060901&article=2This

Download references

Acknowledgments

The researchers would like to thank all universities that participated in the study as well as the students who agreed to take part in this study.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ahmad Rayan.

Ethics declarations

Informed Consent

All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all students for being included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Abeer Dadoul, Hussein Jabareen and Zainab Sulieman were employed by Hebron University.

Ahmad Rayan, Abdulkarim Alzayyat and Omar Baker declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rayan, A., Dadoul, A.M., Jabareen, H. et al. Internet Use among University Students in South West Bank: Prevalence, Advantages and Disadvantages, and Association with Psychological Health. Int J Ment Health Addiction 15, 118–129 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-016-9658-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Internet
  • Psychological health
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • University students
  • West Bank