Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2018 Sep 25. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2018.0072.
This article designed and tested a cognitive behavioral-based preventive intervention program for youths with problematic Internet use (PIU) behavior. The program is the Psychological Intervention Program-Internet Use for Youth (PIP-IU-Y). A cognitive-based therapy approach was adopted. A total of 45 secondary students from four schools completed the intervention program that was conducted in a group format by registered school counselors. Three sets of self-reported data on Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ), Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) were collected at three time points: 1 week before the intervention, immediately after the last intervention session, and 1 month after the intervention. Paired t-test results showed that the program was effective in preventing negative progression into more serious Internet addiction stages, and reducing anxiety and stress and interaction phobia of the participants. The effect was evident immediately at the end of the intervention session and was maintained 1 month after the intervention. This study is among the first to develop and test a preventive intervention program for youths with PIU. The effectiveness of our program in preventing negative progression of PIU and its symptoms in problematic users has led us to postulate that the program will also prevent normal users from developing serious symptoms. The majority of the intervention programs reported in the literature merely tailor to those who already have problems.
KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; cognitive behavioral therapy; intervention program; positive psychology; problematic Internet use; youth