Problematic Internet use, time spent online and personality traits = Utilisation problématique d’Internet, temps passé en ligne et traits de personnalité Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Internet addiction or problematic Internet use is a recent and increasingly recognized disorder which has been consistently associated with many psychiatric disorders, adding to the documented negative consequences of problematic Internet use. However, very few studies have examined the relationship between problematic Internet use and personality traits and none in a French sample. Moreover, those which have evaluated this relationship have mainly been conducted on small samples.The main goal of our study was to explore the relationship between problematic Internet use, time spent online and personality traits in a French sample, taking into account the presence of depressive symptoms, and gender.A sample of 276 participants aged from 18 to 50 (M=28; SD=8.9) completed a questionnaire assessing problematic Internet use, time spent online, the presence of ten personality traits and depressive symptoms.Our results revealed significant differences between genders. Among men, problematic Internet use was associated with personality clusters A and B while in women no cluster or personality traits were associated. Time spent online was predicted by schizoid personality traits among men and avoidant personality traits among women.Our results indicate that cluster A (schizoid and schizotypal) and cluster B traits (borderline and antisocial) play a more important role in problematic Internet use than cluster C traits among men. Differences between men and women regarding the relationships between personality traits, time online and problematic Internet use may be related to differences in the activities engaged in by men and women online. We observed that communication websites use was more prevalent among women while erotic, gambling and shopping websites use was more prevalent among men suggesting that the characteristics of problematic Internet use may vary according to gender.Few studies have examined the relationship between problematic Internet use, time spent online and personality traits, and none among a French sample. These results suggest the importance of assessing the impact of personality traits on Internet use, particularly on time spent online, by differentiating results in terms of gender and online activities.

authors

  • Laconi, S
  • Andréoletti, A
  • Chauchard, E
  • Rodgers, RF
  • Chabrol, H

publication date

  • 2016