Internet addiction in the student population : a meta-analysis on its dynamic/static risk and protective factors
Sin, Xue Yi
Wong, Jia Hui
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Despite the rising prevalence of Internet addiction (IA) in the student population, there is an absence of meta-analytic studies that examine the risk and protective factors of IA. Therefore, this meta-analytic paper aims to explore the relationship between potential risk factors and IA, as well as that between potential protective factors and IA in the student population of different countries. These factors were broken down into dynamic and static groups based on their malleability to examine their differential impact on IA. 56 empirical papers with a total sample size of 73,049 from 18 different countries were reviewed, and 15 risk and protective factors were gathered. Of the 15 factors, there were (a) five dynamic risk factors which include anxiety, depressive, hostility/aggressive and stress symptoms as well as loneliness; (b) five dynamic protective factors which consist of life satisfaction, social support, family function, parental behaviours and self-efficacy; (c) three static risk factors which are impulsivity/risk-taking/sensation-seeking, neuroticism and shyness as well as; (d) two static protective factors which include extraversion and self-esteem. Analyses revealed that all four groups of dynamic/static risk and protective factors were significantly associated with IA. Subsequent moderation analyses found that all factors, except extraversion, shared a significant relationship with IA that ranged from small to medium magnitudes. In addition, sample type and percentage of male participants sampled were the two other moderators examined in this study. These findings on risk and protective factors of IA may serve as a starting point for developing relevant prevention and intervention programmes.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University