Next Article in Journal
The Use of Telemedicine in Nursing Homes: A Mixed-Method Study to Identify Critical Factors When Connecting with a General Hospital
Previous Article in Journal
Validation of the Arabic and French Versions of a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) Questionnaire on Tranquilizer Misuse
Previous Article in Special Issue
Profile Pictures in the Digital World: Self-Photographs Predict Better Life Satisfaction
Article

When Does a Lot Become Too Much? A Q Methodological Investigation of UK Student Perceptions of Digital Addiction

1
Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2
Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
3
School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
4
Division of Psychological and Social Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
5
Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111149
Received: 18 August 2021 / Revised: 29 September 2021 / Accepted: 7 October 2021 / Published: 23 October 2021
Despite the benefits of the internet and other digital technology, the online world has been associated with a negative impact on university student wellbeing. Many university students report symptoms of pathological internet use. Internationally, further research is needed to understand what student users of technology perceive to be problematic internet and/or digital use. The current study explores the range of perceptions that university students hold about ‘digital addiction’. We recruited 33 participants from a UK university into a Q-methodology study. Participants sorted, ranked, and commented on fifty-two statements representing the concourse of ‘things written or said about digital addiction’. The statements were identified from a comprehensive search of a wide variety of sources (e.g., newspapers, academic articles, blogs, and YouTube). Principal Component Analysis was used to identify four distinct viewpoints of ‘digital addiction’: (I) digital addiction is differentiated by the negative consequences experienced by addicted individuals; (II) digital addiction comes from our fascination with the online world; (III) digital addiction is an attempt to escape real world problems and impacts on mental health and relationships; (IV) digital addiction is defined by the amount of time we spend online. All four viewpoints share the perception that people do not realize they are digitally addicted because using and having digital devices on you at all times has become the social norm. There was also overall agreement that that those with ‘addictive personalities’ were more likely to be ‘digitally addicted’. Despite these similarities, complexity and contradictions within the viewpoints surrounding what digital addiction is and how it might be defined are apparent. The information found in this study provides important suggestions of how we might frame prevention and early intervention messages to engage students and ensure they develop the skills necessary to successfully manage their digital lives. View Full-Text
Keywords: Q method; digital addiction; student perceptions; internet addiction; problematic internet use Q method; digital addiction; student perceptions; internet addiction; problematic internet use
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Turner, L.; Bewick, B.M.; Kent, S.; Khyabani, A.; Bryant, L.; Summers, B. When Does a Lot Become Too Much? A Q Methodological Investigation of UK Student Perceptions of Digital Addiction. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11149. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111149

AMA Style

Turner L, Bewick BM, Kent S, Khyabani A, Bryant L, Summers B. When Does a Lot Become Too Much? A Q Methodological Investigation of UK Student Perceptions of Digital Addiction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11149. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111149

Chicago/Turabian Style

Turner, Luke, Bridgette M. Bewick, Sarah Kent, Azaria Khyabani, Louise Bryant, and Barbara Summers. 2021. "When Does a Lot Become Too Much? A Q Methodological Investigation of UK Student Perceptions of Digital Addiction" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11149. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111149

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop