Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 May 14;15(5). pii: E987. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050987.
Among the many contributing factors in addictions there are also those describing the individual characteristics and ways of dealing with various life challenges. Despite numerous studies in this area, there is still no unambiguous data on the nature and specificity of this relationship in different age groups. The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between personality dimensions and strategies of coping with stress and the level of Internet addiction. The study was funded by the Ministry of Health under grant no. 93/HM/2015. The study was carried out in a group of 383 persons aged 15 to 19 (M = 16.6, SD = 0.77) attending secondary schools. The following research tools were used: Ten Item Personality Measure, Brief Cope and Internet Addiction Test. Both specific personality traits and styles of coping with stress are related to the addiction to the analysed medium. The personality traits most strongly associated with the risky Internet use were conscientiousness and emotional stability. An association was demonstrated between Internet addiction and the use of coping strategies, such as disengagement, substance use and self-blame. The results obtained demonstrate a major role of personality-related factors in the development of Internet addiction. The attitude to difficulties seems to be the key issue. The findings presented also make it possible to delineate the areas for improvement (e.g., through psychoeducational interventions) to protect young people from the risk of developing the addiction.
KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; coping strategies; personality traits; young people