General strain theory of Internet addiction and deviant behaviour in social networking sites (SNS)

Mubarak Rahamathulla, Steve Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to explore the association between internet addiction and problem behaviours on social networking sites (SNS) using the general strain theory (Agnew, 1992). Design/methodology/approach: Using the purposive sampling method, a survey was conducted, which collected data from 414 college students studying in two public universities in South Australia. The Delphi method was used to develop the questionnaire used for the survey. Findings: 'Results of this research indicated a significant association between internet addiction and problem behaviours on SNS. Respondents who had engaged in problem behaviours on SNS had high internet addiction test scores (Young, 1998). On the basis of this finding, the present research argues that the general strains associated with the suffering of newly emerging challenges such as internet addiction might contribute to victimisation and deviant and problem behaviours on SNS in specific and possibly in cyberspace in general. Research limitations/implications: Results of the present study need to be interpreted cautiously due to many limitations it has. This research is a cross-sectional study, which might not adequately explain the associations between internet addiction and problem behaviours on SNS. Longitudinal studies involving larger samples might have added significant value to this study. The present study uses purposive sampling technique, which has limited its generalizability, and its findings may not be generalised to large populations. Originality/value: Limited information is available pertaining to the association between problem behaviours on SNS and internet addiction. The present study is a pioneering effort, which argues that rapid popularity of SNS is likely to increase internet addiction and the frustration of not getting proper treatment for their internet addiction might lead to deviant behaviours on SNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of information, communication and ethics in society
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Consumer behaviour
  • Ethics
  • Ethics education
  • Healthcare
  • Social networks

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