Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Professor Cobie Rudd

Abstract

Internet addiction (IA) is a relatively new field of academic inquiry. Empirical studies suggest that IA, like other well researched addictive behaviours, has an effect on many aspects of a person‟s life, including academic/work performance, relationships, and physical and mental health (Goldberg, 1996; Young, 1996, 1998). Evidence of IA has been suggested by the findings that some Internet users spend increasingly longer periods of time online and experience withdrawal symptoms when offline. Those preoccupied with Internet-related activities may neglect exercise, family and social activities (Kim et al., 2010; Nalwa & Anand, 2003; Seo, Kang, & Yom, 2009; S. Yang & Tung, 2007; Young, 1998, 2004). Problems arising from excessive Internet use have been documented worldwide, including in Thailand where the use of the Internet has increased noticeably (National Statistical Office, 2008a, 2008b, 2010). It is a particularly common problem among students, as demonstrated in several international studies (Ko, Yen, Yen, Lin, & Yang, 2007; Konstantinos, Evaggelia, Dimitrios, Odysseas, & Nikiforos, 2008; Lam, Peng, Mai, & Ing 2009; Lee et al., 2007; Niemz, Griffiths, & Banyard, 2005; Thomas & Martin, 2010; Zboralski et al., 2009). However, few researchers have investigated IA and its impacts on Thai secondary school students. This thesis fills a gap in the international IA literature by developing a consensus definition and diagnostic criteria of IA, investigating the prevalence of IA among Thai secondary school students, as well as conducting an exploration of the impacts of IA on these students and their prevalence.

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