ABSTRACT Objective: It has been suggested that some internet users spend so much time on the internet that their personal and/or professional lives suffer. This study compared the temperament and character of problematic internet users (PIU) with that of problematic drug users (PDU) among Korean adolescents and aimed to examine the personality characteristics of adolescents with internet use problems. Method: We enrolled participants from high schools (n = 487), internet cafés (n = 89), and an adolescent-substance abuse consultation office (n = 45). All subjects were assessed using the Korean Internet Addiction Scale (KIAS), the Korean Adolescent Drug Addiction Screening Test-2 (KOADAST-2), and the Korean version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (K-TCI). Subjects were classified into the following four groups based on the KIAS and KOADAST-2 results: normal controls, pure PIUs, pure PDUs, and dual problematic users. Differences in the subscale scores on the K-TCI were analyzed by group. Results: Scores for Reward dependence (RD) were significantly lower in pure PIUs than in pure PDUs (13.85 ± 4.07 versus 15.44 ± 3.56, p < 0.05). Scores for Self-Directedness (SD) were lower in pure PIUs (18.21 ± 6.90) and pure PDUs (18.22 ± 6.03) than in normal controls (20.88 ± 6.60), although the scores did not differ significantly between pure PIUs and pure PDUs. Scores for Cooperativeness (C) were lower in pure PIUs than in normal controls (23.97 ± 7.02 versus 26.57 ± 6.67, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that PIUs are more socially insensitive and that they may experience more inter-personal problems than PDUs.
Cite this paper
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