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Prior to beginning this exam, review the course text in its entirety and the learning activities you completed in Weeks 1 through 5.

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In this second portion of the Final Exam, you will critically evaluate a quantitative research study on a social science topic. Your instructor will post an announcement with the reference for the article assigned for the exam. The study will be from a peer-reviewed journal and published within the last 10 years.

In the body of your critique, describe the statistical approaches used, the variables included, the hypothesis(es) proposed, and the interpretation of the results. In your conclusion, suggest other statistical approaches that could have been used and, if appropriate, suggest alternative interpretations of the results. This process will allow you to apply the concepts learned throughout the course in the interpretation of actual scientific research.

Your critique must include the following sections and information:


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· This section will introduce the assigned peer-reviewed quantitative study.

· Identify clearly the research questions and/or hypothesis(es) as well as the purpose of the study.


· Describe the procedures and methods of data collection, measures/instruments used, the participants and how they were selected, and the statistical techniques used.


· Summarize in this section the results presented in the study.


· Evaluate the efficacy of the research study by discussing the following:

· Address the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of the study and suggest future research directions.

· Include additional forms of statistical analyses as part of the suggestions for future research.


· Summarize the main points of your evaluation of the study.

· Explain how the statistical test used in the study could be applied to your future career. Give one example.

· Discuss how your ability to critique quantitative research could impact your future career.

The Final Exam Part 2 paper

· Must be three to four double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center’s 

APA Style (Links to an external site.)


· Must include a separate title page with the following:

· Title of paper

· Student’s name

· University name

· Course name and number

· Instructor’s name

· Date submitted

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


DOI 10.1515/ptse-2016-0019

PTSE 11 (3): 194-204

Internet Addiction in Adolescents

Sławomir RĘBISZ

(University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland)


(Foundation in Support of Local Democracy, Rzeszów, Poland)

Received: 01.06.2016; Accepted: 21.08.2016

Abstract: The possibilities offered by the use of the Internet increasingly

intensify the problem of Internet addiction, which has become more
prevalent in the last decade, marked by the growing availability of

mobile devices and new media and their exacerbation of the problem.
Research on Internet addiction, initiated by Kimberly Young at the end of

the twentieth century, usually appears in the literature in the context of
young people who have been found to be most vulnerable. The

phenomenon is known as Adolescent Internet Addiction. Compulsive use
of the Internet is a complex phenomenon, its effects being visible in

almost all aspects of a young person’s social life. It is manifested in a
variety of pathological behaviors and emotional states grouped into

several major psycho-physical and social effects that may appear
simultaneously, e.g. anger, depression, loneliness or anxiety associated

with the lack of access to the network, the weakening of social ties,
withdrawal from real life, lack of educational achievement, chronic

fatigue or deteriorating health. The authors of this study aim to assess the
level of Internet addiction among adolescents in Poland and indicate its

main behavioral manifestations, in the students surveyed, which
influence their pathological use of the Internet. Our study involved a total
of 505 students from three high schools located in Rzeszow (N = 505) and

was carried out by questionnaires, including, among others, The
Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI) which is the Polish adaptation of
Kimberly Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT) (Cronbach’s α = 0.89).

Statistical analysis of responses from the PUI test allowed us to
determine (1) the level of Internet addiction among these adolescents,
whereas the univariate (ANOVA) analysis enabled us (2) to verify the

hypothesis of the existence of differences in the level of Internet addiction
among the investigated groups as far as gender, place of residence or
grade are concerned. Generally, the results obtained in our research

indicate that the level of Internet addiction among the adolescents

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


investigated is not very high, although two thirds of our respondents
showed an above average level of addiction, and every ninth respondent

(approximately 11%) was highly addicted to the Internet, men being more
often addicted (15.6%) than women (8.3%).

Keywords: Internet addiction, adolescents, Test of Problematic Use of

the Internet (PUI), factor analysis (ANOVA)


The possibilities offered by the use of the Internet increasingly intensify
the problem of Internet addiction. This has become more prevalent in the
last decade (Kuss, Shorter, van Rooij, Griffiths, & Schoenmakers, 2013),
marked by the growing availability of mobile devices and new media and
their exacerbation of the problem (Kuss, van Rooij, Shorter, Griffiths, &
van de Mheen, 2013).

Internet addiction is part of the group of so-called new addictions,
which represents various socially problematic activities and behaviours.
These are addictions in which the ingestion of chemical substances play,
no role. Apart from the Internet, they include addiction to gambling,
shopping, sex work, food or emotional dependency (Guerreschi, Marazziti,
& Wieczorek-Niebielska, 2006). Many terms are used to define the
phenomenon under discussion here, among them Internet Addiction (K.S.
Young, 1998), Pathological Internet Use (Davis, 2001) and Problematic
Internet Use (Shapira et al., 2003; Yellowlees & Marks, 2007).

Studies on Internet addiction were initiated by Kimberly S. Young at the
end of the twentieth century (Kimberly S. Young, 1998). Young believes
that Internet addiction should be regarded as a habit and impulse
disorder, similar to pathological gambling. She also points out that this
type of addiction visibly deteriorates an individual’s functioning in every
sphere of life (Shapira et al., 2003; K.S. Young, 1998). An attempt to define
compulsive use of the Internet was also made by Griffiths (2000), who
defined it as compulsive behaviour involving an individual’s excessive
interaction with the computer and, which follows, with the Internet. This
can take two forms: passive, consisting in browsing through web pages and
active, manifested by playing interactive online games.

As Young (1998) points out, Internet addition is a heterogeneous and
complex process. It destructively affects every sphere of a young person’s
life, expressing itself in various pathological behaviours and emotional
states, which can be grouped into a few main psycho-physical and social
units that may occur simultaneously. School duties and studying are often
neglected as a result of spending too much time with the Internet. Family
ties and friendships are loosened as priority is given to contacts
established online. Physically the addiction can express itself in
sleeplessness, fatigue, bad eating habits and lack of physical activity
(Douglas et al., 2008; Lai et al., 2015; Waldo, 2014; Yu, Kim, & Hay, 2013).
Some of the mental symptoms of web-alcoholism should be also
mentioned here. Social phobias linked to avoiding human contact in the
real world, distorted non-verbal communication and depression caused by
reduced access to the virtual world are only some of them (Gajda, 2011).

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


Research to date indicates that spending excessive time in cyberspace may
contribute to increased levels of social isolation and depression (Chou,
Condron, & Belland, 2005). Compulsive use of the Internet may also
inhibit the creation of healthy social interactions and, in this way, increase
feelings of loneliness (Rębisz, Sikora, & Smoleń-Rębisz, 2016). In the
worse-case scenario, Internet addiction may result in personality disorders
or even hinder development (Bednarek & Andrzejewska, 2009).

Research on web-alcoholism conducted to date demonstrates that
young people are most exposed to Internet addiction (Leung, 2007;
Mossbarger, 2008). This phenomenon, known as Adolescent Internet
Addiction (AIA) (Waldo, 2014), is said to result from the fact that
adolescent needs can be easily met in the online world, among them the
need to establish and maintain contacts, seek answers to the most vital
questions, seek self-expression or build self- identity (Aydm & San, 2011;
Lai et al., 2015). Home environment is very important in this context. The
absence of strong family relations, insufficient parental involvement or
being brought-up in a single parent family are among the main reasons
why young people increasingly reach for the Internet (Ni, Yan, Chen, &
Liu, 2009; Wąsiński & Tomczyk, 2015). Internet addiction among
adolescents is also determined by school and peer factors, such as
overloaded curricula that students find excessively burdensome, a shortage
of authority among teachers as well as difficult peer relations and an
inability to communicate (Bednarek & Andrzejewska, 2009).

The reasons behind web-alcoholism among adolescents should be
sought not only in their environment but also in various internal factors,
such as social phobia, depression and loneliness (Yao & Zhong, 2014).
Bednarek and Andrzejewska (2009) mention such predictors as low self-
esteem, emotional immaturity, lack of ability to cope with suffering and
stress, negative self-image or inability to establish interpersonal contacts.
Woronowicz (2001) distinguishes the following symptoms of Internet
Addiction based on ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of
Diseases and Related Health Problems) criteria: (1) the need or
compulsion to use the Internet (2) subjective belief in one’s difficulties to
control the Internet-related behaviour (3) restlessness, anxiety or
discomfort when attempting to discontinue the use of the Internet and
persistence of these symptoms upon logging back into the virtual world (4)
spending more time in the cyber world in order to achieve satisfaction and
well-being, which previously took less time (5) a growing neglect of
alternative interests and pleasures in favour of Internet use, and (6) the
use of Internet despite of an awareness of its harmful effects. The
occurrence of three of the above symptoms within a year can be already
interpreted as Internet addiction (Majchrzak & Ogińska-Bulik, 2010).

The goals set out by the authors of this study were as follows: (1) to
evaluate the level of Internet addiction among secondary school pupils in
Rzeszów (2) to indicate the main symptoms/behaviours that have an
influence on the pathological use of the Internet (3) to test our hypothesis
about the existence of differences in the level of the examined
phenomenon in the groups compared, taking into consideration such
variables as gender, place of residence, age and grade.

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016




505 students of secondary schools were recruited for the study, all from
the three Rzeszów second-level general education secondary schools
(liceum) (N=505). Our sampling was random purposive. The study was
conducted at the turn of 2014 and 2015. The social-demographic
characteristic of our subjects is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. The socio-demographic characteristics of the sample (N=505)

Characteristic %/mean (SD)
Men 33,9%
Women 66,1%
Age (years) 16,7 (0.851)
School Grades
1st 51,9%
2nd 37,4
3rd 10,7%
Place of residence
City/Town 39,6%
Village 60,4%

Note: SD – standard deviation


We developed an original questionnaire which involved 14 questions with
the option of selecting one or more answers. When working on the
questionnaire, we made sure that the questions contained the problems
defined by Woronowicz and Young as risk factors and symptoms of
Internet addiction. In order to identify the addiction levels we also
included Ryszard Poprawa’s Test of Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI)
(Poprawa, 2011), which is the Polish adaptation of Young’s Internet
Addiction Test (IAT) (Kimberly S. Young, 1998). The Polish version of the
test consists of 22 statements/questions regarding the use of the Internet
and respondents are asked to choose one of the six answers on the scale 0-
5, where 0 means “never” and 5 means “always.” The level of Internet
addiction is specified as (a) very low (b) low (c) average (d) high (e) very
high. In order to estimate the level of Internet addiction every answer to
the PUI items was attributed a number of points. Responses to the 22
questions/statements in the Polish version of the test can yield from 0 to
110 points. The level of Internet addiction is determined based on the
following intervals: 0-1 very low; 2-10 low; 11-49 average; 50-79 high; 80-
110 very high. Cronbach’s alpha for the scale was α = 0.89, which means
the research tool is highly reliable.

Additionally, the single-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was
applied in order to review our hypothesis of the existence of differences in
the level of Internet addiction in the groups we studied, involving 4
independent variables, i.e. gender, place of residence, age, grade and 14
dependent variables (see Table 3).

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016



Of 505 respondents, 456 completed our questionnaires which were then
considered valid for the purposes of our study. The material revealed that
99% of students in our sample have access to the Internet and 98% had
used the Internet for longer than 3 years. Almost 88% of our interviewees
logged on to the Internet every day and two thirds of them declared that
they spend at least 2 hours a day using the Internet. Interestingly, almost
every third respondent (29.7%) spent 4 hours a day or longer using the
Internet. Our respondents used the Internet primarily at home, mostly
through two types of device: computer (95%) and telephone/smartphone
(82%). Our data demonstrates that young people mostly use the Internet
to stay in touch with other users, primarily through social media (74%) or
chat applications (48%). They also actively use educational resources
available through the Internet (47%) and seek information relevant to their
lives (38%). These percentages do not sum up to 100 because students
were given an option to select more than one answer.

In general terms, our results indicate that our respondents were not
addicted to the Internet to an extent that can be regarded as strong. In
fact, two thirds of them reached the average score (men 68.8% women
77.25%). Every ninth respondent (approx. 11%) scored high in the Internet
addiction level, with male students being more often addicted (15.6%) than
female (8.3%) – Table 2.

Table 2. Internet Addiction Levels and Gender – Test of Problematic Use of the
Internet (N=456)

Addiction level Women Men Total
Very low (0-1) 0.7% 5.2% 2.2%
Low (2-10) 13.9% 9.1% 12.3%
Average (11-49) 77.25% 68.8% 74.3%
High (50-79) 8.3% 15.6% 10.7%
Very High (80-110) 0% 1.3% 0.4%

Note: point intervals for each level of addiction have been specified in brackets

The analysis of responses given in the PUI test helped us distinguish

five types of behaviour among the adolescents in our sample, which
influenced the level of Internet addiction. Our respondents most
frequently replied “often” or “always” to the following statements: (1) I
find that I stay online longer than I intended – 30.8% (Mean=2.649;
SD=1.546); (2) I often find myself saying “just a few more minutes”–
26.2% (Mean = 2.254; SD = 1.594); (3) My grades or school work suffer
because of the amount of time I spend online – 14.4% (Mean = 1.752;
SD=1.456); (4) I fear that life without the Internet would be boring,
empty and joyless – 14.2% (Mean=1.542; SD=1.514); (5) I often neglect
household chores in favour of spending time online – 14.1% (Mean=1.971;

In order to capture the differences in the type of factors selected by
various groups of respondents, we carried out the single-factor analysis of

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


variance (ANOVA), which allowed for a review of the hypothesis about the
existence of differences in the level of investigated phenomenon in the
groups we compared (Dodge, 2008; Rubacha, 2008, pp. 244–248). The
analysis showed that out of 4 independent and 14 dependent variables,
those that differentiated between the various levels of Internet addiction
are one independent variable: (1) gender (p=0.032), and 6 dependent
variables: (1) the period (number of years) of Internet use (p=0.038); (2)
frequency of logging on to the Internet (p=0.001); (3) time spent online
(p=0,001); (4) playing online games (p=0.001); (5) using Internet for
purposes other than educational (p=0.001). Another statistically
significant variable was (6) using computer to log on to the Internet
(p=0.002). The remaining categories have not shown a statistically
significant difference (p>0.05) – Table 3.

Table 3. Single-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) – Test of Problematic Use of

the Internet (N=456)

Factor(s) Mean SD Sig.
Gender 2.327 .806 .032
Age 2.327 .806 .103
Place of residence 2.324 .806 .228
Grade 2.327 .806 .128
Length of Internet use – number of years 2.320 .800 .038
Frequency of Internet use 2.320 .800 .001
Time spent online 2.321 .801 .001
Place of Internet use (home, school etc.) 2.320 .801 .077
Logging on to the Internet to look for information/the
latest news

2.320 .798 .404

Logging on to the Internet to download (music, films etc.) 2.320 .798 .237
Logging on to the Internet to talk to others (chat services,
communicators, fora)

2.320 .798 .476

Logging on to the Internet to share in social media
activity (Facebook, Twitter etc.)

2.320 .798 .161

Logging on to the Internet to shop and take part in

2.320 .798 .295

Logging on to the Internet to play online games

2.320 .798 .001

Logging on to the Internet for other than educational

2.320 .798 .001

Using computer to log on to the Internet 2.309 .780 .002
Using telephone/smartphone to log on to the Internet 2.309 .780 .735
Using tablet to log on to the Internet 2.309 .780 .395

Note: p<0.05


Internet usage is now an integral part of children’s and teenagers’ everyday
life. According to Kirwil (2011), in 2010 Europe, on average 93% of young
people used the Internet at least once a week, and 60% were logged on
every day or almost every day. In Poland, these rates were even higher:
98% were logged on at least once a week and 74% every day. It can be
assumed that in the following years these percentages were even higher.
The importance of the Internet in everyday life has been confirmed by

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


studies carried out in Poland in 2010-2012 which, among other related
issues, investigated the most important media used in different age
groups. The results demonstrate that for teenagers from 15 to 19 years of
age the most important medium is the Internet (World Internet Project.
Poland, 2012).

Mobility and Internet access when used unreasonably carry a serious
risk of Internet addiction, which most commonly affects young people. The
research discussed in this paper allowed us to define the level of Internet
addiction among the adolescents we surveyed and indicate the main
behaviours that determine compulsive Internet usage. Moreover, single-
factor analysis (ANOVA) helped us review the hypothesis about the
existence of variables that significantly differentiate between various levels
of addiction to the online world.

Generally, the results of our research show an average level of Internet
addiction among Rzeszów secondary school students. Over two thirds of
our respondents scored 11 to 49 out of 110 possible points. Low and very
low levels of Internet usage were declared by 14.5% of them. On the other
hand, every ninth respondent (approx. 11%) scored high level of
problematic use of the Internet – see Table 2. Our results are consistent
with other Polish research on Internet addiction (Kirwil, 2011; Kołłątaj,
Szakuła, Kołłątaj, Wrzołek, & Karwat, 2013; Livingstone, Haddon, Görzig,
& Ólafsson, 2011; Potembska & Pawłowska, 2010).

As already mentioned the gender of our respondents turned out to be a
significant differentiating variable (p=0.032). In the surveyed population,
it is male students that showed high and very high levels of problematic
use of the Internet (almost 17 %). The percentage was lower when it came
to the female students we surveyed and was slightly in excess of 11%. Our
research demonstrated that every sixth male and every ninth female
respondent uses the medium pathologically. A higher level of Internet
addiction in men than women has been also revealed by the recent study
conducted by Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej (University of Social
Sciences and Humanities) in Warsaw. Their results demonstrate that,
based on the group of five symptoms they propose to define Internet
addiction, more girls (45%) than boys (38%) experience no symptoms of
Internet addiction at all (Kirwil, 2011). Similar conclusions were reached
by Yang (2001). Based on the sample of 1296 people, she concluded that
more boys than girls are in danger of meeting the criteria for Internet
addiction as they tend to be more often dependent on the Internet (Yang,
2001). Also research conducted by Ko, Yen, Chen, Chen, Wu and Yen
(2006), as well as Yen, Ko, Yen, Chen and Chen (2009) confirms that men
use the Internet to destructive effect more often than women, and the
likelihood of their addiction to the medium is higher. Another Polish
survey by Pawłowska and Potembska (2010) has confirmed that boys
spend more time online than girls. They also tend to either trivialize or
justify their online activities. Boys display a tendency to subtract the time
spent online from the time that would have otherwise spend sleeping. The
virtual world is in the case boys more often treated as escape from negative
thoughts about their own life.

Another statistically significant dependent variable in the context of the
problem discussed in this paper is the length of the period (number of
years) of Internet usage (p=0.038). It appears that the problematic

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


Internet usage among the surveyed students decreases with the total
number of years of Internet usage. Those of our respondents who had used
the Internet only for a short time, for less than a year, turned out to show
the highest number of behaviours linked with compulsive use of the
Internet (Mean = 3.388, SD= .213), whereas those who used the Internet
for longer than 4 years showed much more restraint in this respect (Mean
= 2.305, SD= .788). The fact that the level of problematic Internet usage
decreases with the length of the period in which users have been taking
advantage of the Internet is probably linked to the huge variety of
possibilities that the Internet offers. Users who have only recently
discovered the virtual world are practically “attacked” by the messages and
stimuli it offers. It therefore comes as no surprise that they are willing to
sacrifice their contacts with others in the real world, study time or even
health. More experienced users who have used the Internet for longer than
4 years cope much better with the selection of content and they find the
information they are seeking much faster. They also have regular pages,
services and “places” they visit so they spend less time searching,
comparing and choosing their options. With some optimism it can be
assumed that over their years of Internet use they have already
experienced its negative effects so they consciously reduce the time they
spend online, appreciating what off-line life has to offer.

Another essential variable which determines problematic Internet usage
in a statistically significant way is the frequency of being logged on to the
Internet (p=0.001). It transpires that people who declare an everyday
logging on to the Internet were most often using it pathologically (Mean =
2.371, SD= .791). This situation may result from the fact that the Internet
provides an answer to the needs of young people and, in particular, fulfils
their need for contact with others. This is also confirmed by our research.
Teenagers use the Internet primarily for contact with other users through
social media (74%) or chat services (48%). The situation is similar in the
context of the time spent online (p=0.001). Students who declared that
they spent 5 or more hours a day online (Mean = 2.834, SD= 1.134) had
more problems related to its excessive usage. The declared time of 5 or
more hours spent in the virtual world, which is two and a half times longer
than the average time spent online, becomes a distinct predictor of
potential addiction. Internet users in Poland spend approximately 2 hours
a day online (World Internet Project. Poland, 2012).

It also comes as no surprise that another variable, i.e. using the Internet
to play online games (p=0.001), is statistically significant. Research to
date indicates that this behaviour is a predictor of Internet addiction
(Blinka & Smahel, 2011; Griffiths, 2000). Our analysis shows that
problematic Internet usage occurred particularly in students who declared
that they play online games (Mean = 2.822, SD= .966). Similar problems
with compulsive use of the Internet were shown by those respondents who
used it for other than educational purposes (p=0.001; Mean = 2.500, SD=
.858) and use a computer to log on to the Internet (p=0.002; Mean =
2.335, SD= .773) rather than a telephone/smartphone (p=0.735) or tablet

Our results allow for the conclusion that because of the specific patterns
of Internet usage by adolescents, parents stand a good chance of becoming
aware of the first symptoms of Internet addiction. 29.7% of the adolescents

Practice and Theory in Systems of Education, Volume 11 Number 3 2016


we surveyed declared that they spent more than 4 hours a day online,
whereas 95% of them used the Internet on a computer at home. It can
therefore be hypothesized that the time spent online is mostly after school
when under adult supervision. With computers being less mobile than
other devices children can hardly conceal their use of the Internet from
their parents. In this context parents should be able to notice any worrying
symptoms and respond accordingly, although research shows that the
much needed response is not always in place. Only 39.3% our respondents
at the second-level secondary school level had a family member comment
on their excessive use of the computer. Among those, 22% had an adult
comment on it rarely and only 17.3% admitted to being frequently warned
against excessive use of the Internet (Kołłątaj et al., 2013).


As the problem of Internet addiction was only reported by 11% of our
respondents, the results of our research might raise no major fears. Yet it
should be considered that the scale of Internet addiction is often
underestimated, as some of the people in research samples might be
concealing their problem. On the other hand, in relation to the whole
population of teenagers, the 11% of addicted teenagers revealed by our
study translates into thousands of young people who might need help,
which is why the problem of excessive Internet usage should not be
marginalized. Research indicates that addictive Internet usage is a tangible
threat which can have a considerable impact on the lives of adolescent
users. It is therefore important to take action to counteract this problem.
As school and home are the two main areas of a young person’s life, these
two environments in particular should be ones in which pathological
Internet usage by adolescent users is tackled. Teenagers should also be
encouraged to reflect on the situation. A critical approach to their own
behaviour, as well as a response to any such worrying behaviour on the
part of their peers, may help many get rid of the problem or even prevent
it. In order to avoid excessive Internet usage adolescents should (1) use the
Internet rationally, self-regulating the time they spend online and
considering the purpose for its use, (2) develop social competences in the
actual world through frequent contacts with family, friends and
acquaintances and learn to value face to face meetings (3) get involved in
the life of the school and other forms of activities offered by educational
institutions (4) be aware of the threats lurking in the online world and of
the effects of Internet addiction, and (5) treat the Internet as a tool
providing help with various problems of the real world rather than its


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