Life satisfaction and problematic Internet use: Evidence for gender specific effects (2016)

Psychiatry Res. 2016 Feb 13;238:363-367. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.02.017.

Lachmann B1, Sariyska R2, Kannen C3, Cooper A4, Montag C2.


The present study investigates, using a large sample (N=4852 participants; 51.71% males), how problematic Internet use (PIU) relates to general life satisfaction and distinct facets of everyday life such as job, leisure, and health. Data on Internet usage was gathered using a short form of the Young Internet Addiction Test.

Life satisfaction was measured with standardized items taken from the socioeconomic panel (Germany). Highly significant associations were observed between PIU and the facets of life satisfaction, health and leisure.

Of note, these associations between the mentioned facets of life satisfaction and PIU were significantly higher for females compared to males, although the reported total level of PIU was significantly lower for females.

This suggests the presence of different thresholds for males and females with respect to negative effects on well-being due to PIU. The current study underlines the importance of including gender as a critical variable when investigating the association between life satisfaction and PIU.

KEYWORDS: Gender; Internet addiction; Moderator; PIU; Well-being