Adolescents' Identity Experiments on the Internet and Problematic Internet Use Behavior

Cetin A. B., CEYHAN A. A.

ADDICTA-THE TURKISH JOURNAL ON ADDICTIONS, vol.1, no.2, pp.30-46, 2014 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.15805/addicta.2014.1.2.063
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.30-46
  • Keywords: Problematic internet use, Internet addiction, Psychological needs, Identity status, Sensation seeking, Life satisfaction
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This study investigates adolescents' identity experiments on the internet and reveals whether adolescents' levels of psychological needs, identity status, and sensation-seeking behavior and life satisfaction are significant predictors of problematic internet use. The study group consisted of 2729 students in public high schools in Eskisehir Province, Turkey. The data were collected through the following: Problematic Internet Use Scale-Adolescent, Basic Needs Inventory, Ego Identity Status Scale, Arnett Sensation Seeking Scale, Life Satisfaction Scale, and the Personal Information Form. Data analysis was conducted through descriptive statistics and hierarchical regression analysis. Research findings showed that a large number of adolescents (66.40% sometimes; 1.10% often) experimented with identity on the internet by pretending to be someone else. Adolescents often tended to act like a more intelligent or imaginary person. Overall, adolescents generally pretend to be a more intelligent, less shy, and imaginary character. In addition, adolescents often reported that they experiment with identity to get to know people easily and speak with people more easily. The regression analysis results showed that diffusion, moratorium, and achievement identity statuses, psychological needs for power and belonging, and sensation-seeking behavior and life-satisfaction levels are important predictors of problematic internet use, with these variables explaining 20% of the total variance.