6 December 2012
Internet use has become a popular entertainment source and has become highly integrated into daily life. However, some people display problematic or addictive usage of the Internet. The present study attempts to fill current knowledge gaps regarding at-risk/problematic Internet use (ARPIU) and its relation to various health and functioning measures.
Online survey data from 755 adults in the United States were analyzed using chi-square and ANOVAs.
The ARPIU group did not differ from the non-ARPIU group with respect to substance use. Individuals with ARPIU were, however, more likely to report at-risk/problematic engagement in video-game playing and gambling. Compared to the non-ARPIU group, the ARPIU group reported poorer self-control and higher levels of impulsivity and depression.
ARPIU appears associated with other risk behaviors, particularly those that might be performed on the Internet. Future studies should examine the extent to which the Internet may promote engagement in these risk behaviors and the extent to which preventative interventions targeting better self-control or negative mood states might help a range of non-substance-related addictive behaviors.