24: Internet Addiction Among College Students in China affects Psychological factors

There is a direct correlation between Internet addiction and psychological factors among college students in China. A study has shown that depression, parent-child relationship and psycho social competence play a big role in students who are addicted to the Internet. College students were asked various questions that revealed whether or not this was an issue, here are the results.

Study shows that 15.2% of Chinese College students are considered Internet addicted

15.2% of college students in China are Internet Addicted. A study asked questions that indicated whether or not they were Internet Addicts, it revealed that it is a serious public health problem. Internet Addiction is known as "an individuals unregulated use of the Internet which leads to development of symptoms, such as cognitive and behavioral preoccupation with the Internet."

The survey was given to college and university students in one specific city in Eastern China, a total of 1,172 students agreed to participate in the study, Of these 1,172 students, 445 were females and 728 were males. To assess levels of Internet addiction the survey used Young's 10-item IAT, a known diagnostic instrument for determining Internet addiction. Students were asked "yes" or "no" questions as well as scale questions.

8.1% answered yes to feeling preoccupied with the Internet or online services and think about it while offline. 26.1% also said yes to staying online longer than originally intended or expected. Technology is constantly growing in our world and the Internet has dramatically improved many aspects of our lives, however it has also brought many problems, one of them being addiction within young adults.

There is a Negative correlation between Internet addiction and psychological factors among College students in China

It has been proven that psychological factors correlates with Internet addiction. Parent-child relationship questionnaires were used to see what students thought about their relationships with their parents. These were answered using a Likert scale; 1 being strongly disagree and 4 being strongly agree.

A mean of 3.11 students reported having low parent-child relationships, these students also answered yes to questions about Internet addiction. 13% of students say yes to going online to escape problems or relieve feelings, such as helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression. Those students also gave a low scale of ones to questions such as "I am satisfied with my relationship with my parents, I take initiative in telling my parents about things that happen to me, and I take the initiative to share my feelings with my parents." This shows that a low level of parent-child relationship can result in Internet addiction among college students.

College students who are unable to maintain a state of mental well-being have a higher chance of becoming Internet Addicted

The study asked students Positive Youth Development Scale questions to measure Psycho social competence. Students answered using a six-point system; 1 being strongly disagree and 6 being strongly agree. These sub scales were used to measure levels of resilience, social competence, and emotional competence in college students. For example a question asked to measure resilience was "When I face difficulty, I do not give up easily."

A mean of 4.46 students reported having low psycho social competence, this mean that these students have low self esteem and are easily unmotivated. These students also have a week metal state of well-being. Correlation between this and Internet addiction ranged from 0.47 to 0.88. Because of these psycho social factors, students with low self esteem feel more confident and comfortable online, They build relationships online and occupy their time on the Internet.

Internet addiction can cause psychological disorders such as Depression

Depression was seen in students with Internet addiction. The center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was used to measure symptoms of depression and also detected people at risk. Students answered question with a 4 point scale; 0 being rarely or none of the time, and 3 being most or all of the time. They were asked whether or not they experienced symptoms of depression within the previous week.

Response scores ranged from 0 to 60, where those who scored less than 16 were classified as non depressed, and those who scored 16 or higher were classified as depressed or at risk to be. A mean of 14.72 students reported having symptoms of depression within the previous week, these students also had no parent-child relationship and were unable to maintain a state of mental well-being.

Internet addiction is a worldwide problem because of how technology is evolving in our society

Internet addiction is different among countries but is a worldwide problem. Studies has found that problematic Internet use ranged from 0% to 26.3% among college students in the United States. That is a 11/1% difference between the US and China. Researchers from Duke University and Missouri University conducted a study that tracked Internet usage of 69 students over two months. The study has shown that there is a correlation between Internet usage and addictive behaviors in young adults.

Students at the University of Maryland were asked to give up all media for one full day. After 24 hours many of them showed symptoms of withdrawal, anxiety and the inability to function properly without their media and Internet usage as well as their cell phones. College students across the world are hooked on their cellphones, social media and the Internet because they rely on it for a lot of things. Just like any other addiction, these students showed full blown symptoms of withdrawal.

In this video I ask an 18 year old female student about how she would feel if I took away her phone, social media, laptop and any Internet access from her for 2 days. This is what she says:

Students have admitted to being addicted to the Internet and blame the technology revolution for the cause. Because in our world today we have very easy access to all the new technology coming out, students spend a lot of their time on it. Internet addiction is a rising problem. Everything today revolves around technology and Internet use. Students use the Internet to stay in touch with friends and family, do homework, plan their schedule, shop and even to wake up in the morning. It has become a part of their everyday routine and has taken a huge part of their life. 

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