Problematic Internet use among elementary school students: prevalence and risk factors
This study develops a new version of the problematic Internet use scale suitable for senior elementary school students. It includes six subscales: time management, compulsive Internet use, emotion adjustment influence, interpersonal and academic influence, preferred online social interaction, and daily life influence. This research utilized the survey method to understand the relationship between student backgrounds and their Internet use behaviors, and problematic Internet use. A total of 775 elementary school fifth and sixth graders from northern Taiwan were sampled based on the stratified random sampling method. There were 763 valid surveys. The results indicated that the factors of gender, parents’ attitudes towards Internet use, the time when subjects first started to use the Internet, number of hours spent getting online each time on weekdays, number of types of devices used to go online, and Internet activity preferences are significant. Boys have more serious problematic Internet use than girls. Different Internet activities present different risks of triggering problematic Internet use for male and female students. Students whose parents allow them to use the Internet without intervention have more serious problematic Internet use. Students exhibit more serious problematic internet use if they start using the Internet before beginning elementary school. When students use the Internet more and can go online using more types of devices, they tend to have more serious problematic Internet use. This study finds that students preferring Internet activities for recreational entertainment and social interaction have more serious problematic Internet use than students preferring Internet activities as learning tools.