Relating on the Internet, Personality Traits and Depression: Research and Implications

Antonia Papastylianou

Abstract


The Internet as a social media space implies its own terms as far as its operation, social interaction and influence are concerned. In this, excessive Internet use – especially among young people –, occasionally indicates the existence of certain disorders such as addiction, depression or even co-morbidity of disorders. This study aimed at investigating the extent to which Greek students are Internet over-users/ addicted and furthermore answering the hypotheses whether Internet addiction is correlated to certain personality traits (namely openness and extraversion) and depression, controlling for certain demographics such as gender and faculty of studies (Social, Humanities Vs Exact Sciences). The sample consisting of N = 404 students from the Social Sciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences departments of Greek universities and technical colleges were administered a self-reporting questionnaire on Internet addiction, personality traits-NEO-FFI, Depression (CES-D) and demographics. Results show that a rather low percentage of students fulfilled the criteria to be considered as Internet addicted, and this was associated mainly with openness and only marginaly with neuroticism regarding the Big-Five Personality factors. Further analysis controlling for Depression, gender and type of studies showed that the association between Big-Five and Internet addiction was even weaker, pointing out that this association is confounded by the factors included in the analysis.


Keywords


Internet addiction; Big-Five personality traits; depression