Loneliness as the Cause and the Effect of Problematic Internet Use: The Relationship between Internet Use and Psychological Well-Being (2009))

CyberPsychology & Behavior

To cite this article: Junghyun Kim, Robert LaRose, and Wei Peng. CyberPsychology & Behavior. July 2009, 12(4): 451-455. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0327.

Published in Volume: 12 Issue 4: July 25, 2009

Junghyun Kim, Ph.D.,1 Robert LaRose, Ph.D.,2 and Wei Peng, Ph.D.2


The current research started from the assumption that one of the major motives driving individuals’ Internet use is to relieve psychosocial problems (e.g., loneliness, depression). This study showed that individuals who were lonely or did not have good social skills could develop strong compulsive Internet use behaviors resulting in negative life outcomes (e.g., harming other significant activities such as work, school, or significant relationships) instead of relieving their original problems. Such augmented negative outcomes were expected to isolate individuals from healthy social activities and lead them into more loneliness. Even though previous research suggests that social use of the Internet (e.g., social networking sites, instant messaging) could be more problematic than entertainment use (e.g., downloading files), the current study showed that the former did not show stronger associations than the latter in the key paths leading to compulsive Internet use.

1Department of Communication, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.

2Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

Dr. Junghyun Kim

Kent State University

135 Taylor Hall

Kent, OH 44242-0001

E-mail: [email protected]