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Internet dependency and psychosocial maturity among college students
One salient impact of information technology on students' lives is the ever-increasing use of the Internet. Although there exist many reports in the media regarding the unhealthy Internet use among students, research is still limited and has mainly relied upon on-line self-selected reports on Internet dependency or “Internet addiction”. This paper attempts to look into the alleged Internet dependency within the Eriksonian psychosocial development framework. The results of a survey of the Internet use among 217 students in an Australian regional university are reported. The measures of patterns of the Internet use were correlated with that of psychosocial maturity and self-efficacy. The results showed that the Internet dependency seemed to be independent of the psychosocial maturity and the general perceived self-efficacy. A factor analysis extracted six factors from a set of 28 Internet experience-related questions and indicated that the Internet dependency could be of a multifaceted nature. The findings and their implications were discussed and a contextual perspective was proposed.
Number of Pages20