Cross-cultural research in internet addiction: a systematic review

Lopez-Fernandez, O. ORCID: 0000-0002-4294-9156, 2015. Cross-cultural research in internet addiction: a systematic review. International Archives of Addiction Research and Medicine, 1 (2), 011. ISSN 2474-3631

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Internet addiction (IA) is the most studied behavioral addiction. However, few studies have been conducted that simultaneously include several countries to attain an inter-cultural and international perspective on the phenomenon. The aim of this systematic review is to observe the characteristics of cross-cultural IA studies, in order to explore (i) their classification, (ii) the cultures involved, (iii) the IA issues treated, and (iv) the commonalities and differences among cultures. For this review the PsycINFO scientific database was selected to make searches without restrictions. Out of 23 documents, 8 were selected (34.8%), after applying two research paper selection phases with the following specific inclusion criteria: the paper needs to be (i) an empirical cross-cultural study, (ii) focused on IA or other related online excessive behaviors, and (iii) published in a journal. Between 2008 and 2015, the results show that from 2012 onwards until the present, there has been a continuing increase of papers, mostly cross-national intercontinental studies that usually research IA in its generalized subtype and estimate its prevalence with classic and valid scales, while only one study focuses on video gaming. The continents involved are usually Asia, America and Europe, and the commonalities show that the higher rates of IA exist in Asian countries, in male users who spend a lot of hours online. Differences among countries and risk factors have however also been detected and cultural factors are usually not analyzed. More cross-cultural research on IA and other potentially addictive technologies and online activities is needed, so that we may further explore cultural factors and achieve higher external validity of the findings.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Archives of Addiction Research and Medicine
Creators: Lopez-Fernandez, O.
Publisher: ClinMed International Library
Date: 2015
Volume: 1
Number: 2
ISSN: 2474-3631
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 09 Sep 2016 12:34
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 12:57

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