Psychological Maltreatment and Digital Addiction

Psychological Maltreatment and Digital Addiction

Gökmen Arslan (Independent Researcher, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8449-0.ch007
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Internet use enhances people's quality of life, yet, excessive use may lead to various problems for their healthy development and wellbeing. Understanding the risks and protective factors in the development of internet addiction have importance to promote individuals' mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, the purpose of the present chapter is to explore the role of psychological maltreatment in the development of internet addiction. Psychological maltreatment is a significant public health problem associated with a range of short and long-term mental health and wellbeing outcomes during the period from childhood to adulthood. Considering the outcomes, it is clear that maltreated individuals are at risk to develop internet addiction disorder, and psychological maltreatment has a crucial role in the development of internet addiction. However, evidence on this issue is relatively limited, and there is a need for further research investigating short and long-term impacts of psychological maltreatment on internet addiction.
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Internet use has become a prominent part of individuals’ daily life, and people can solve many day-to-day problems and obtain knowledge using the internet (e.g. taking online courses, finding specific information, and talking with others; Tsai & Lin, 2001; 2003). Given these benefits of internet use, internet use enhances individuals’ quality–of–life; however, excessive use may lead to various problems for their healthy development and wellbeing (Arslan, 2017a). In recent years, a growing number research has demonstrated that internet addiction is associated with psychopathology, such as depression, anxiety, social adaptation problems, physiological dysfunction (Akın & Iskender, 2011; Arslan, 2017a; Cao et al., 2011; Şahin, 2014; Özdemir, Kuzucu, & Ak, 2014; Young & Rodgers, 1998), personality traits (Celik, Atak, & Basal, 2012; Kim et al., 2008; Dong, Wang, Yang, & Zhou, 2013), psychosocial variables, including shyness, compassion, loneliness (Ayas, 2012; Iskender & Akin, 2011; Özdemir et al., 2014), and wellbeing indicators, such as psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction (Bozoglan, Demirer, & Sahin, 2013; Cardak, 2013; Cao et al., 2011; Çelik & Odacı, 2013; Odacı, & Çıkrıkçı, 2014; Telef, 2016). In addition, many other research aimed to explore the diagnostic criteria and treatment of internet addiction disorder (Beard, 2011; Beard & Wolf, 2001; Caldwell & Cunningham, 2010; Chrismore, Betzelberger, Bier, & Camacho, 2011; Griffiths, 2005; Shaw & Black, 2008; Şenormanci, Konkan, & Sungur, 2012; Toa et al., 2010; Young, 1998; 2007; 2011; 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pathways Model: A theoretical framework that defines the internet addiction and pathological gambling in three pathways.

Gambling Addiction Disorder: A psychological disorder that is described as the “persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.”

Psychological Maltreatment: A harmful experience associated with many short and long-term difficulties in an individual’s mental health and wellbeing.

Risk Factors: Variables that are associated with an increased risk for the internet addiction or pathological internet use.

Component Model: A theoretical background of internet addiction proposed internet addiction consists of seven distinct–yet–related common components (i.e., salience, tolerance, mood modification, conflict, withdrawal, and relapse) and descripts the internet addiction as a part of the biopsychosocial process.

Protective Factors: Variables that decrease or eliminate the likelihood of developing the internet addiction or pathological internet use, and help individuals cope more effectively with stressful life events.

General Theory of Addictions: A theoretical framework that identifies the physiological and psychological risk factors of addictions, and the model has proposed that childhood negative life experiences are risk factors in the development of pathological internet use.

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