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Mental Health

Examining Correlates of Problematic Internet Pornography Use Among University Students

Examining Correlates of Problematic Internet Pornography Use Among University StudentsFull Article Name: Examining Correlates of Problematic Internet Pornography Use Among University Students

Open Access: Yes

Abstract

Background and aims: The phenomenon of Internet pornography (IP) addiction is gaining increasing attention in the popular media and psychological research. What has not been tested empirically is how frequency and amount ofIP use, along with other individual characteristics, are related to symptoms of IP addiction.

Methods: 105 female and 86 male university students (mean age 21) from Calgary, Canada, were administered measures of IP use, psychosocial functioning (anxiety and depression, life and relationship satisfaction), addictive propensities, and addictive IP use.

Results: Men reported earlier age of exposure and more frequent current IP use than women. Individuals not in relationships reported more frequent use than those in relationships. Frequency of IP use was not generally correlated with psychosocial functioning but was significantly positively correlated with level of IP addiction. Higher level ofIP addiction was associated with poorer psychosocial functioning and problematic alcohol, cannabis, gambling, and, in particular, videogame use. A curvilinear association was found between frequency of IP use and level of addiction such that daily or greater IP use was associated with a sharp rise in addictive IP scores.

Discussion: The failure to find a strong significant relationship between IPuse and general psychosocial functioning suggests that the overall effect of IP use is not necessarily harmful in and of itself. Addictive use of IP, which is associated with poorer psychosocial functioning, emerges when people begin to use IP daily.

 

Citation

Harper, C., & Hodgins, D. C. (2016). Examining correlates of problematic internet pornography use among university students. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(2), 179–91. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.5.2016.022