Social Anxiety and Internet Addiction among Rural Left-behind Children: The Mediating Effect of Loneliness
AbstractBackground: At present, the mental health of rural left-behind children is a major social problem in China. Internet addiction, social anxiety, and loneliness are common psychological and behavioral problems among rural left-behind children, but the relationships among these issues have not been clearly identified.Methods: A total of 432 junior year 1 to senior year 3 students were randomly selected from 2 rural middle schools in Hunan Province of China as the research subjects. The Internet Addiction Disorder Diagnostic Scale, Social Anxiety Subscale of the Self-Consciousness Scale (SASS-CS), and University of California Los Angeles Loneliness Scale were employed to measure the degree of Internet addiction, feelings of social fear, social avoidance behavior, and the level of loneliness among the research subjects.Results: The rate of Internet addiction among rural left-behind middle school students was 18.27%, and was correlated with the length of time their parents spent at home as well as whether one or both parents migrated for work. Positive correlations were found among Internet addiction, social anxiety, and loneliness. Loneliness was found to play a mediating role in the relationship between social anxiety and Internet addiction among rural left-behind middle school students.Conclusion: Social anxiety and loneliness both increase the likelihood of Internet addiction in rural left-behind middle school students and social anxiety can affect Internet addiction through loneliness, implying an urgent need to strengthen care for rural left-behind children, reduce their loneliness, and thereby effectively alleviate the problem of Internet addiction among rural left-behind middle school students.
Zheng HE (2003). Public Health: A Non-Negligible Social Problem in Nowaday China. Society, 23(3): 4-7.
Griffiths MD, Kuss DJ, Billieux J, Pontes HM (2016). The evolution of Internet addiction: A global perspective. Addict Be-hav, 53: 193-5.
Li ML, Deng YL, Ren YJ, et al (2014). Obe-sity status of middle school students in Xiangtan and its relationship with inter-net addiction. Obesity (Silver Spring), 22(2): 482-7.
Zhang LS, Yang J, Zhu YT (2012). Psy-choloical health status and its influencing factors among rural left-behind children in Hubei province. Chinese J Public Health, 20(20): 273–276.
Zheng W (2016). Causes and Strategies of Internet Addiction in Left-behind Chil-dren in Rural. J Shaanxi Institute Edu, 32(4): 86-89.
Jin CC, Qu ZY, Wang XH (2010). On the Current Situation of Internet Addiction of Left-at-home Children and Migrant Children, Their Mental Health and Inter-personal Relationships. Chinese J Spec Edu, 7: 59-64.
Ostovar S, Allahyar N, Aminpoor H, et al (2016). Internet Addiction and its Psy-chosocial Risks (Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Loneliness) among Iranian Adolescents and Young Adults: A Struc-tural Equation Model in a Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Mental Health Addict, 14(3): 257-267.
Dalbudak E, Evren C, Aldemir S, et al. (2013). Relationship of internet addiction severity with depression, anxiety, and alexithymia, temperament and character in university students. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw, 16(4): 272-278.
Weinstein A, Dorani D, Elhadif R, et al (2015). Internet addiction is associated with social anxiety in young adults. Ann Clin Psychiatry, 27(1): 4-9.
Koyuncu T, Unsal A, Arslantas D (2014). Assessment of internet addiction and loneliness in secondary and high school students. J Pak Med Assoc, 64(9): 998-1002.
Storch EA, Masiawarner C (2004). The rela-tionship of peer victimization to social anxiety and loneliness in adolescent fe-males. J Adolesc, 27(3): 351-362.
Darcin AE, Kose S, Noyan CO, et al (2016). Smartphone addiction and its relation-ship with social anxiety and loneliness. Behav Inf Technol, 35(7): 1-6.
Zan LL, Liu BL, Liu ZX (2008). Preliminary compilation of internet addiction diagno-sis scale of middle school students. Chin J Clin Psychol, 16(2): 123-125.
Hays RD, Dimatteo MR (1987). A short-form measure of loneliness. J Personal As-sess, 51(1): 69-81.
Zhou L, Li Z, Hu M, et al. (2012). Reliability and validity of ULS-8 loneliness scale in elderly samples in a rural community. Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban, 37(11): 1124-1128.
Fenigstein A, Scheier MF, Buss AH (1975). Public and Private Self-Consciousness: assessment and Theory. J Consul Clin Psy-cho, 43(4): 522-527.
Cai CL, Li XS, Dong Y, et al (2006). The in-vestigation of harms of internet addiction to middle school students in hefei city. Chin J Behav Med Brain Sci, 15(2): 157-158.
Cui LJ, Zhao X, Wu MZ, et al (2006). A Re-search on the Effects of Internet Addic-tion on Adolescents' Social Develop-ment. Psychol Sci, 29(1): 34-36.
Tong HM (2012). Relationship between In-ternet Addiction and Mental Health of Pingliang School-age Adolescents. China J Health Psychol, 20(5): 753-755.
Li J, Wang WH (2013). The Characteristics of Internet Addiction among High School Freshmen in Chongqing and Its Relationship with Impulsiveness. China J Health Psychol, 21(3): 420-422.
Hu S (2012). Prevalence of Internet addic-tion among junior high school students in a city of Liaoning Province. J Bohai Univ: Philos & Soc Sci Edit, 6: 117-120.
Campbell R, Dworkin E, Cabral G (2009). An ecological model of the impact of sexual assault on women's mental health. Trauma Violence Abus, 10(3): 225-246.
He N, Hong JZ (2013). Reasons and Coun-termeasures of adolescent Internet addic-tion from the perspective of ecosystem theory. Surv Edu, 2(3): 5-8.
Li ML, Lu LY (2016). Intervention study on the psychological health of Chinese rural left-behind middle school students with Internet addiction disorder by Sunshine Sports. Rev Argent Clin Psic, 25(2): 167-176.
Zhou L (2011). Relationship among inter-personal alienation, network behavior preference and Internet addiction ten-dency among College Students. Ideol Theor Edu, 18(13): 73-76.
Li SL, Gan SW, Zeng YW, (2016). Contras-tive study on mental health status be-tween left-behind children and un-left-behind children in Yongchuan district of Chongqing city. Chongqing Med, 45(10): 1357-1359.
Yuan BC, Jin CY, Yang SQ (2014). Loneli-ness and Social Anxiety of Different Types Rural Left-behind Children. China J Health Psychol, 22(10): 1564-1566.
Jin YX (2016). Problems of Family Educa-tion of Rural Children Left Behind and Countermeasures--Based on the Perspec-tive of Maslow's needs Hierarchy Theory. Guide Sci Edu, 7(7): 127-128.