Trajectories of excessive Internet use in families (VEIF)
Excessive Internet use of adolescents is not only in the focus of mass media, it is also investigated empirically by various scientific disciplines. Results of international surveys confirm associations between familial impact and excessive Internet use in adolescence. Currently, longitudinal studies exploring these interdependencies are not available.
For this reason, the focus of the VEIF project is on trajectories of adolescent excessive Internet use in particular consideration of familial aspects.
For the development of suitable prevention measures, diagnostic tools or interventions, a thorough knowledge of the phenomenon ‘excessive Internet use’ and its trajectories is necessary. The VEIF project is a contribution to the basic research that is required to achieve these objectives.
Using quantitative methods, data regarding excessive Internet use and familial aspects will be collected over a period of 24 months.
We explore the following research questions:
- At what age and for what reason do adolescents start to use the Internet excessively?
- If adolescents stop their excessive Internet use, how much time has elapsed since they showed excessive Internet use for the first time?
- Are the individual trajectories influenced by the family?
Excessive Internet use becomes a problem within families, if the family members perceive it as a problem. The perspective of the caregiver or the parent is not necessarily shared by the adolescent. Furthermore, a subjective perception of excessive Internet use must not be in accordance with a scientific definition of excessive Internet use. For this reason, in the present study we use a model considering the subjective perspectives of affected adolescents and parents as well as the scientific perspective on excessive Internet use.
We investigate a group with a higher risk of excessive Internet use (inclusion criterion: the parent or the adolescent perceives subjectively problems in the adolescent’s media use).
The research focus is on family relationships, interactions between family members and on media education. An established measure (CIUS) is utilized to assess scientific criteria of excessive Internet use. For purposes of comparison, we also examine a control group (consisting of families reporting no problems in the adolescent’s media use).
To include all three perspectives mentioned above, in every family both an adolescent and a caregiver (family dyad) are surveyed. Data will be collected with standardized questionnaires for three times in 700 family dyads each (500 families with a higher risk of excessive Internet use and 200 families in the control group).
Wartberg, Lutz/Kriston, Levente/Kramer, Michaela/Schwedler, Anja/Lincoln, Tania M./Kammerl, Rudolf (2017): Internet gaming disorder in early adolescence: Associations with parental and adolescent mental health. European Psychiatry 43, p. 14-18.
Start: August 16, 2015
End: August 15, 2018