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  • 1 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901, USA
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Abstract

Background and aims: Prior research on Internet dependency has examined various individual traits as contributing factors. Since domain-specific traits tend to have higher abilities to explain outcome variables, this study investigates a technology-related specific trait, i.e., computer playfulness, as a predictor of Internet dependency, and their influence on Internet usage patterns and academic performance. Methods: A sample of 267 college students was surveyed to examine these relationships. In addition to demographic information, the questionnaire contained measurement scales to assess playfulness, Internet dependency as well as work/study-related and social-related uses of the Internet. Results: Survey data indicate that playfulness significantly predicts Internet dependency (ΔR2 = 19%). Playfulness is also significantly related to students’ grade point average (p <.001), as well as Internet use for social purposes (p <.022), and its impacts are fully mediated by Internet dependency. It was also found that neither playfulness nor Internet dependency is significantly associated with Internet use for work/study purposes. Conclusions: Playfulness, as a domain-specific individual trait, is a powerful predictor of Internet dependency, which is positively related to social use of the Internet, and negatively related to student academic performance.

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  • Beáta Bőthe (University of Montreal, Canada)
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  • Emmanuel Kuntsche (La Trobe University, Australia)
  • Hae Kook Lee (The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea)
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  • Frederick Gerard Moeller (University of Texas, USA)
  • Daniel Thor Olason (University of Iceland, Iceland)
  • Nancy Petry (University of Connecticut, USA)
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  • Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar (Teheran University of Medical Sciences, Iran)
  • József Rácz (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)
  • Rory C. Reid (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
  • Marcantanio M. Spada (London South Bank University, United Kingdom)
  • Daniel Spritzer (Study Group on Technological Addictions, Brazil)
  • Dan J. Stein (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Sherry H. Stewart (Dalhousie University, Canada)
  • Attila Szabó (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Ferenc Túry (Semmelweis University, Hungary)
  • Alfred Uhl (Austrian Federal Health Institute, Austria)
  • Johan Vanderlinden (University Psychiatric Center K.U.Leuven, Belgium)
  • Alexander E. Voiskounsky (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Kimberly Young (Center for Internet Addiction, USA)

Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
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