OJPsych  Vol.2 No.3 , July 2012
Comparisons of temperament and character between problematic internet users and problematic drug users in Korean adolescents
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
Lee, M. and Jung, I. (2012) Comparisons of temperament and character between problematic internet users and problematic drug users in Korean adolescents. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 2, 228-234. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2012.23030.
[1]   Brian, D.N. and Wiemer-Hastings, P. (2005) Addiction to the internet and online gaming. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 8, 110-113. doi:10.1089/cpb.2005.8.110

[2]   Holden, C. (2001) “Behavioral” addictions: Do they exist? Science, 294, 980-982. doi:10.1126/science.294.5544.980

[3]   Cloninger, C.R., Przybeck, T.R., Svrakic, D.M. and Wetzel, R.D. (1994) The temperament and character inventory (TCI): A guide to its development and use. Center for Psychobiology of Personality, Washington University, St. Louis.

[4]   Cloninger, C.R. (1987) A systematic method for clinical description and classification of personality variants. A proposal. Archives of General Psychiatry, 44, 573-588. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800180093014

[5]   Gurpegui, M., Jurado, D., Luna, J.D., Fernandez-Molina, C., Moreno-Abril, O. and Galvez, R. (2007) Personality traits associated with caffeine intake and smoking. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatryis, 31, 997-1005. doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2007.02.006

[6]   Wills, T.A., Vaccaro, D. and McNamara, G. (1994) Novelty seeking, risk taking, and related constructs as predictors of adolescent substance use: An application of Cloninger’s theory. Journal of Substance Abuse, 6, 1-20. doi:10.1016/S0899-3289(94)90039-6

[7]   Le Bon, O., Basiaux, P., Streel, E., Tecco, J., Hanak, C., Hansenne, M., et al. (2004) Personality profile and drug of choice; a multivariate analysis using Cloninger’s TCI on heroin addicts, alcoholics, and a random population group. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 73, 175-182. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2003.10.006

[8]   Staiger, P.K., Kambouropoulos, N. and Dawe, S. (2007) Should personality traits be considered when refining substance misuse treatment programs? Drug and Alcohol Review, 26, 17-23. doi:10.1080/09595230601036952

[9]   Ha, J.H., Kim, S.Y., Bae, S.C., Bae, S., Kim, H., Sim, M., et al. (2007) Depression and internet addiction in adolescents. Psychopathology, 40, 424-430. doi:10.1159/000107426

[10]   Lee, Y.S., Han, D.H., Yang, K.C., Daniels, M.A., Na, C., Kee, B.S., et al. (2008) Depression like characteristics of 5HTTLPR polymorphism and temperament in excessive internet users. Journal of Affective Disorders, 109, 165-169. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.10.020

[11]   Lee, M.-S., Hong, S.-D. and Joung, Y.-S. (2007) Characteristics of temperament and character properties in adolescents with internet addiction tendency. Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, 46, 65-70. doi:10.5124/jkma.2007.50.1.65

[12]   Cho, S.C., Kim, J.W., Kim, B.N., Lee, J.H. and Kim, E.H. (2008) Biogenetic temperament and character profiles and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in Korean adolescents with problematic Internet use. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 11, 735-737. doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.0285

[13]   Kim, J.W., Han, D.H., Park, D.B., Min, K.J., Na, C., Won, S.K., et al. (2010) The relationships between online game player biogenetic traits, playing time, and the genre of the game being played. Psychiatry Investigation, 7, 17-23.

[14]   Hosak, L., Preiss, M., Halir, M., Cermakova, E. and Csemy, L. (2004) Temperament and character inventory (TCI) personality profile in metamphetamine abusers: A controlled study. European Psychiatry, 19, 193-195. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2004.04.003

[15]   Chakroun, N., Doron, J. and Swendsen, J. (2004) Substance use, affective problems and personality traits: Test of two association models. Encephale, 30, 564-569. doi:10.1016/S0013-7006(04)95471-1

[16]   Schinka, J.A., Curtiss, G. and Mulloy, J.M. (1994) Personality variables and self-medication in substance abuse. Journal of Personality Assessment, 63, 413-422. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa6303_2

[17]   Ko, C.H., Yen, J.Y., Chen, C.C., Chen, S.H., Wu, K. and Yen, C.F. (2006) Tridimensional personality of adolescents with internet addiction and substance use experience. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51, 887-894.

[18]   Kim, C. and Lee, S. (2004) Development and Validation study on internet addiction-proneness scale. 112th Annual Convention of American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii.

[19]   Kim, C.T., Kim, D.I., Park, J.K. and Lee, S.J. (2002) A study on internet addiction counseling and the development of prevention programs. Korean Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion.

[20]   Kim, K.-B. (1997) A study of early detection of adolescent drug user’s and adolescent drug addicts. Korean Journal of Youth Studies, 4, 209-223.

[21]   Kim, K.-B., Lee, C.-K. and Kim, B.-S. (1995) The preliminary study of the Korean Adolescent Drug Addiction Screening Test (KOADAST) (II). Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, 34, 1862-1874.

[22]   Kwon, M.Y. (1998) The individual, familial, and peer-relational characteristics of drug-abused adolescent. Graduate School of Kyungpook National University, Taegu.

[23]   Sung, S.M., Kim, J.H., Yang, E., Abrams, K.Y. and Lyoo, I.K. (2002) Reliability and validity of the Korean version of the temperament and character inventory. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 43, 235-243. doi:10.1053/comp.2002.30794

[24]   Laucht, M., Becker, K., Blomeyer, D. and Schmidt, M.H. (2007) Novelty seeking involved in mediating the association between the dopamine D4 receptor gene exon III polymorphism and heavy drinking in male adolescents: Results from a high-risk community sample. Biological Psychiatry, 61, 87-92. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.05.025

[25]   Engelberg, E. and Sjoberg, L. (2004) Internet use, social skills, and adjustment. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 41-47. doi:10.1089/109493104322820101