Internet overuse and its impact on deviant behavior and attitudes
The Internet is the fastest growing technological advancement of the past twenty-five years. As the Internet has grown, so has the number of individuals who use it for daily tasks. The Internet provides conveniences in the everyday lives of individuals who use it; however, those who overuse online conveniences develop a dependency on the Internet, a dependency called Internet Addiction. The number of individuals that are addicted to the Internet today is unknown; however, the consequences of this new disorder are beginning to emerge. The purpose of this study was to explore what demographic factors influence the likelihood of someone becoming addicted to the Internet, and how this addiction impacts two behaviors and two attitudes found to be salient throughout the literature. The measured behaviors are acceptance of deviant behaviors online, fear-based xenophobia, problematic lay health behavior, and non-suicidal self-injuring behavior. Participants (n = 310) were recruited through convenience sampling to participate in an anonymous survey which measured perceptions and beliefs regarding the attitudes and incidents of the behavioral measurements as a result of Internet Overuse. Results indicated that Internet Overuse did impact individuals? levels of acceptance toward computer mediated deviant behaviors, fear-based xenophobia and their incidents of problematic lay health behavior. An unexpected finding was the majority of the sample population (n = 246, 82%) was addicted to the Internet. The results showed there was an association between levels of Internet Addiction and acceptance of online deviance, fear-based xenophobia, and problematic lay health behaviors. Thus, interventions are needed to address Internet Addiction. Future direction may include conducting a confirmatory study.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology