Excessive Internet use and psychopathology: the role of coping

Kuss, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8917-782X, Dunn, T.J., Wölfling, K., Müller, K.W., Hędzelek, M. and Marcinkowski, J., 2017. Excessive Internet use and psychopathology: the role of coping. Clinical Neuropsychiatry: Journal of Treatment Evaluation, 14 (1), pp. 73-81. ISSN 1724-4935

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Abstract

Objective: In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association included Internet Gaming Disorder in the diagnostic manual as a condition which requires further research, indicating the scientific and clinical community are aware of potential health concerns as a consequence of excessive Internet use. From a clinical point of view, it appears that excessive/addictive Internet use is often comorbid with further psychopathologies and assessing comorbidity is relevant in clinical practice, treatment outcome and prevention as the probability to become addicted to using the Internet accelerates with additional (sub)clinical symptoms. Moreover, research indicates individuals play computer games excessively to cope with everyday stressors and to regulate their emotions by applying media-focused coping strategies, suggesting pathological computer game players play in order to relieve stress and to avoid daily hassles. The aims of this research were to replicate and extend previous findings and explanations of the complexities of the relationships between excessive Internet use and Internet addiction, psychopathology and dysfunctional coping strategies.
Method: Participants included 681 Polish university students sampled using an online battery of validated psychometric instruments.
Results: Results of structural equation models revealed dysfunctional coping strategies (i.e., distraction, denial,
self-blame, substance use, venting, media use, and behavioural disengagement) significantly predict excessive Internet use, and the data fit the theoretical model well. A second SEM showed media-focused coping and substance use coping significantly mediate the relationship between psychopathology (operationalised via the Global Severity Index) and excessive Internet use.
Conclusions: The findings lend support to the self-medication hypothesis of addictive disorders, and suggest psychopathology and dysfunctional coping have additive effects on excessive Internet use.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Clinical Neuropsychiatry: Journal of Treatment Evaluation
Creators: Kuss, D.J., Dunn, T.J., Wölfling, K., Müller, K.W., Hędzelek, M. and Marcinkowski, J.
Publisher: Giovanni Fioriti Editore s.r.l.
Date: February 2017
Volume: 14
Number: 1
ISSN: 1724-4935
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 01 Sep 2016 09:02
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:05
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28364

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