An Investigation of the Factors Contributing to Internet Addiction

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Tchir, Stephan
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This Capstone project examines the factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of the phenomenon commonly referred to as internet addiction (IA). While the internet provides many opportunities for people including access to information, communication, and entertainment, the excessive use of such technologies can lead to problematic and addictive behaviours. Although IA is not recognized as a mental health disorder, the adverse effects of excessive and problematic internet-related behaviours are well documented, and the prevalence of these behaviours appear to be rising. The primary objective of this Capstone project was to gain a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of IA. The literature review consisted of empirical, peer-reviewed studies on IA published between 2013 and 2023. Using a model of generalized IA and a biopsychosocial framework of addiction, the findings of the literature review were organized into broader themes of biological, psychological, and social factors. The results of this literature review indicate that IA is a multifaceted condition which is influenced through various biological, psychological, and social factors that drive the development and maintenance of IA. Due to the multifaceted nature of IA and its determinants, these findings emphasize the importance of developing holistic approaches and strategies for working with individuals who may be struggling with problematic or excessive internet behaviours. Furthermore, these findings indicate the need for future research to investigate the natural progression of IA and explore effective treatment and prevention strategies.
Internet , Internet addiction , online addiction , compulsive Internet use , problematic Internet use , excessive Internet use , generalized Internet addiction